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“For the manufacturers, there is no wasted distribution cost. They just pay for performance. They’re only paying when someone goes into the store and gets their product. That enables them to offer these larger discounts and get more people interested."
— Christopher Steiner, co-founder, Aisle50
NEW STANTON, Pa. — In the latest twist on digital couponing, three regional operators are partnering with an online provider that offers generous Groupon-size discounts on CPG products to grocery shoppers willing to purchase the products in advance.
The online provider, Chicago-based Aisle50, is supplying the promotions to customers of Lowes Foods, Winston-Salem, N.C.; at least 63 independent Shop ‘n Save stores supplied by a Supervalu warehouse here; and, as of last week, Homeland Stores, Oklahoma City,
Shop ‘n Save customers could recently select from among a dozen deals on Aisle50.com, including $7.47 off on three boxes of Tastykake Family Pack Treats, $4 off any three Ore-Ida Potato Products and free two-liter bottles of Coca-Cola. The discounts generally range between 30% and 50%.
To take advantage of any of these offers, a Shop ‘n Save shopper would buy the product at the discounted price at Aisle50.com — say $6 for two boxes of cereal that would normally cost $10 — using a credit card; at the same time, the deal would be loaded onto the shopper’s Perks loyalty card. At her next trip to Shop ‘n Save, the shopper would purchase the promoted product at the regular price ($10), but would actually be charged nothing except tax.
Because they are pre-purchased, the redemption rate of these offers is “close to 90%,” said Christopher Steiner, co-founder of Aisle50. Shoppers have a few months to redeem their deals, though 52% do so within 48 hours, he said.
As for the store, it is electronically reimbursed for the $10 by the manufacturer within a few weeks; thus, there is no cost to the retailer. Aisle50, in turn, reimburses the manufacturer for the discounted price ($6), less 15% to 20% that it keeps for itself. Manufacturers have the ability to cap the number of products available via the deal.