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Flipp app launches newest version

New feature lets users see store deals that match manufacturer coupons

Digital flyer app Flipp launched its newest version on Thursday with a goal to give users further savings and a better shopping experience.

The free shopping app, which originally launched roughly two years ago and lets consumers scroll through digital flyers to find items on sale at local retailers, offers new capabilities in its 3.0 version.

A key new feature lets users find further savings as they can now coupon-match deals from local store flyers with manufacturer coupons. As part of the new feature, users can now search through a collection of coupons by brand, category or item type.

Flipp offers a relatively straightforward user experience. After downloading the app, Flipp users enter their postal code and are then shown digital versions of flyers from retailers in their own area, including grocery stores, pet stores, department stores and pharmacies.

“What we’re doing to the flyer market is essentially what Craigslist has done to classifieds,” Flipp co-founder and CEO, Wehuns Tan, told Canadian Grocer. “We’re transforming this marketplace that exists in the print world into digital.”

Tan says the tech company goes through nearly 30 million potential coupon matches each week, ultimately narrowing that down to 30,000 matchups that are presented in the app.

The app benefits retailers, CPGs and consumers alike, says Tan. For retailers, the savings consumers find can help drive additional foot traffic and store trips. CPGs are able to drive trial, awareness and activation of their products, and consumers get savings on items they may not have considered previously.

By the end of this year, Tan predicts Flipp will have five or six million users in Canada, and roughly 10 million in the U.S.

During the launch event for Flipp version 3.0 in Toronto on Thursday, Globe and Mail personal finance blogger Kerry Taylor spoke of how groceries are getting more expensive in Canada, citing recent Consumer Price Index figures that show food was 3.6% more expensive this August compared to the same month last year.

Taylor, who often reports on ways Canadians can save money on groceries, spoke of how flyer coupons can be frustrating since they involve physically searching for, clipping, carrying and then presenting them to a cashier (she admitted she often has several expired coupons in her wallet).

Flipp asked Taylor to try out its newest version; she shared the results of her weekly shopping trip to three stores, during which she bought items such as toilet paper, diapers, detergent, spaghetti, chicken and produce. The result? The app saved her 30% on her groceries (which worked out to roughly $60). “Flipp does the matchup for you—no fuss, no mess,” she said. (That said, users need to print out manufacturer coupons they've found using Flipp to give the cashier in-store.)

Tan says Flipp houses individual, store-specific flyers for 144,000 retail store locations across North America. For Canada specifically, he estimates that figure includes up to 14,000 store locations. Grocery is one of the key categories in the app, he says, with retailers such as Sobeys, Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and Kroger represented.

Some of the key things people use Flipp to search for coupons for include chicken, cheese, diapers and Coca-Cola, says Tan.

When moms use Flipp to plan their weekly shopping trips, Tan says food and general merchandise are staple categories they’ll search to find deals. He notes more than 65% of Flipp’s users are millennials, and references a recent study that showed 90% of mobile and digital consumers will stop using print flyers once they use Flipp.

What does that mean for grocery retailers, CPG companies and mass merchandisers that rely solely on print to engage with consumers? Tan believes they’re missing an opportunity to connect and influence a large audience base on a weekly basis.

He feels the print world relies on the ‘spray and pray’ mentality, in which retailers put out a flyer and hope consumers read it. With the Flipp model, the company only charges retailers when a user actually reads a flyer. “We believe that everything should be pay-for-performance,” says Tan.

The app is available to download on the iPhone and iPad, and also on Android devices. Tan says versions for Google’s Chrome platform and Windows will launch in the next few months.

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