Super A Foods is leading the way for couponers in the territory, with an impending shift to an electronic coupon service.
“It’s fantastic,” said co-owner Steve Anderson last week. “It’s a great step for our customers who won’t have to deal with cutting up flyers and remembering to bring coupons with them, but it’s also great for the distributors.”
He explained that the cost of printing out 10,000 flyers, with coupons, meant that distributors had to keep the value of those discounts low to be sure to recover costs of production and distribution. With the electronic system, companies can offer bigger savings on more products, said Anderson.
The new system, set to be up and running May 23, works through a free app called Coupgon downloaded to a customer’s smartphone. The app reads which store the customer happens to be in, and then lists the available deals. When a coupon expires, it falls off the feed. While in the store, customers can choose what coupons they want to use, enter the amount, and when they get to the cash, all they need to do is present their phone to the cashier to redeem the coupons.
“We expect to see an increase in people using coupons for sure,” said Super A employee Kelly Richardson. “It just makes it a lot easier for people … they don’t have to remember to bring anything with them, it’s all right there.”
Richardson joked that when people forget their coupons they don’t go home to get them, but in the event of someone not having their smartphone in their pocket, the same cannot be said.
“You can see people wandering around here with their grocery lists on their phones already,” she said. “This will just make saving on your regular purchases easier.”
Anderson said the system is spreading across Canada and that both retailers and distributors are seeing the advantages. Smartphones being as commonplace as they are, it was a logical move to switch to digital, he said.
The Grocery People, Super A’s suppliers, suggested the store as a location for the two-month pilot project earlier this year. Anderson said he was happy to take the opportunity and hopes that people will make the initiative a success. While customers can download the app right away, the equipment at the cash registers will not be up and running until May 23.
When asked why Super A was chosen for the pilot project, Anderson said there was a technical issue with the cash registers at the distributor’s locations in Yellowknife that prevented the system from being installed for testing in the larger community.
“Of course that shouldn’t stop Yellowknifers from using the app,” he said jokingly. “We invite them to come down to Hay River and give a try.”