Scan Your Way to Savings: Supermarket Savvy
We’ve heard about economy nonstop this election season. While we might be sick of thinking about it, the economy affects all our decisions — especially how we shop for food.
A recent article in the Boston Globe magazine mentioned that today’s families are so focused on finding the cheapest prices that they regularly shop at five or more stores. People used to frequent just one or two markets, and today’s grocers are trying to get us back to doing that. How? By using loyalty card data to create individualized discounts.
I’ve written about handheld scanners and how personalized discounts pop up on their little screens. I’ve also written about price customization. But I didn’t realize until I read the Globe article how clever it was, because I didn’t know that the more I respond to it, the better it gets — even while I’m shopping.
Here’s how it works: My store, Stop & Shop, knows that I’m in their store a lot, and that I buy Nutella. So they reward me with personalized Nutella coupons that are so good, I won’t buy Nutella anywhere else. And they’ll time coupons to pop up on my scanner — say, right when I scan peanut butter, which is next to Nutella — so that I’m less likely to ignore the offer. Then, they’ll send up a coupon for a related item, such as bread. The more time and money I spend in their store, the more discounts I’ll see for my favorite items. (Of course, you have to keep in mind that any coupon is only a good deal if it’s for something you actually need.)
We’ll just have to wait and see who wins the election and if this new strategy works for the stores. But it’s working for shoppers, so if you’re able to take advantage of it where you are, I say, do it!
Shop smart and save! Check out more tips on couponing and savvy shopping!