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10/19/2021
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How the right couponing strategy can yield results (Q&A)

Having the right couponing plan in place can drive store visits and increase sales. And webSaver.ca is here to help

webSaver.ca is one of Canada’s leading grocery coupon companies. Partnering with the largest CPG Brands and retailers, in the past decade, they have distributed over 150 million coupons through mail, print at home, and digital. Here, webSaver.ca’s Vice President Marcelle Bélanger talks about how grocery coupons are evolving in the new environment.

We have seen the price of perishable foods like meats and produce really spike over the past few months. Has this impacted coupon usage on things like pantry items and household care?

We have seen the costs of food increase due to several reasons. This has led to an increase in coupon usage as you would expect. Searches for deals are up and we have seen a big bump in coupon activity both from a brand perspective and from the shoppers. We expect another busy year in 2022.

Will 2022 finally be the year digital coupons take off in Canada?

We hope so! To be fair to retailers, this has not been an easy 18 months. Some of their plans got turned upside down and in most cases we need retailers on board for digital coupons. However, we have seen digital coupon orders on our side increase by 245% year over year and the question is no longer if but simply when.

webSaver.ca recently launched a CashBack solution for consumers. What was the thinking behind that?

Ideally we want all retailers accepting digital coupons, but until we are at that point, we really looked hard at cashback as a solution. We wanted to give consumers more choice on how to save, and we wanted to give brands more solutions to offer consumers. We are happy to say from our launch that the consumer response and experience has been incredible and we are able to give brands a much more strategic solution around offers and data.

How do you feel retailers should tackle coupons?

We know coupon users have baskets 30% more than average shoppers so we have been busy helping retailers answer that one question. How do we drive more store trips? Coupons remain a great way to drive store visits and subsequently more store purchases. No two consumers are alike so retailers need to have and accept multiple coupon solutions to meet the needs of their shoppers. Some retailers will be all in on digital coupons and some will not, but we have still seen a growth in the use of mail and printed coupons.

For brands, what are a couple of key insights around their coupon strategy?

Coupon strategies vary based on different objectives of course. As a brand, you need to understand where you are in the maturity of your marketing plan. Some brands have a new product launch and we help them distribute a coupon to their target audience. We can make that happen in days. Other brands are more advanced and may have an entire CRM portal. In those cases, we help them distribute their offers but also help them collect key data. Coupons are a great way to start a relationship with a consumer but it is important to maintain that relationship.

Let’s talk execution. What are some of the key points brands should consider when couponing?

We love having those discussions! It evolves but couponing is simply part of a larger marketing plan but over the last couple of years, is also part of your data plan. So let's start there. What are your marketing goals and then we can deploy different tactics depending on whether this is a product launch, a defensive strategy or to build loyalty.

For data, we can really help brands grow their consumer database but also really deepen their knowledge on these consumers. With digital now, we are also getting this information often in real time so decisions and plans can be a lot more agile.

Anything else we should know?

We are industry experts. We are here to help. Our team lives and breathes coupons and have worked on every part of the business from CPG side to clearing houses and retail. Reach out to me with whatever questions you may have at [email protected].