SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — When Price Chopper Supermarkets started analyzing its Facebook traffic it learned that bloggers were the reason many people “liked” its page.
That research prompted the chain to partner with 25 mom, coupon, food and other bloggers who write about Price Chopper. They include iamthatlady.com, cutestkidever.org and theangelforever.com. The chain also keeps a database of about 75 other bloggers.
While the partnership does not involve pay, Price Chopper rewards bloggers in other ways. Bloggers are invited to in-store events and to write guest blogs on Price Chopper.com. And if the media calls Price Chopper for referrals about extreme coupon users or other types of deal-conscious shoppers, it will often refer them to one of its bloggers for comment.
“We try to have a mutually beneficial relationship with bloggers,” said Heidi Reale, Price Chopper’s director of marketing and consumer insights.
Price Chopper has made merchandising changes based on blogger input. For instance, after the author of www.theangelforever.com mentioned how she couldn’t find a specific kosher product, Price Chopper immediately got the item in stock, Reale told SN.
Lauren Greutman writes about Price Chopper on her blog iamthatlady.com. She uses the blog to reveal Price Chopper’s best deals, and how manufacturer coupons can be matched with in-store specials.
Greutman has already authored one post for the Price Chopper blog. She’s also working on a story about using private-label products in recipes. The story will be published in an upcoming Price Chopper holiday cooking magazine.
Mother to three children - a boy, 6, and two girls, 2 and 5 months, Greutman has been blogging about Price Chopper for a year. She was thrilled when Price Chopper contacted her about a cross-promotional partnership.
“We were both interested in each other,” she told SN. “I help get the word about them and they get the word out about me.”
Greutman has been shopping at Price Chopper for years. She’s loyal, she said, because it has many money-saving programs in place. One of the ways she saves money is by participating in Price Chopper’s fuel discount program, which offers 10 cents off per gallon at participating Sunoco stations for every $50 spent in Price Chopper stores.
The retailer is also coupon-friendly, allowing her to stack store coupons with manufacturer offers; automatically load coupons to her loyalty card; and double coupons with a value of 99 cents or less.
Greutman started using coupons in 2007, when she was working full time but wanted to be a stay-at-home mom for her young son.
To compensate for the loss of her salary, she needed to cut her grocery bill from $1,000 to $200 a month. She did so by couponing.
Today, Greutman uses coupons to save 50% to 70% on her grocery bill at Price Chopper. She spends just $400 a month on food for a family of five.