Savvy Penny is an in-store digital coupon system, designed for supermarkets that uses Bluetooth™ technology to offer value and savings to consumers. It provides retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) brands with a powerful customer loyalty tool. It also provides retailers with a way to eliminate the hassle of paper coupons and provides a new and valuable revenue stream for the supermarket to sell point of purchase advertising. How do they make money by saving you money? The charge fees for processing the paperless coupons and will be selling branded advertising tied to the consumers past purchases and the aisle they are in at the supermarket.
The Digital Shopper is Changing Shopper Behavior In Store
Mobile technology and the Digital Shopper are new and powerful trends developing at retail grocery and frankly no one can say for sure how all of this will unravel. However shopping is be redefined, permanently, by the new Digital Shopper.
In a recent report from Symphony IRI, Understanding and Engaging the Digital Shopper , this digital shopper behavior is evidenced by a host of statistics and here are just few of many:
* 35% of consumers download coupons from brand web sites
* 35% of consumers download coupons from retailer web sites
* 42% of cell phone users own a Smartphone
The "Digital Influencer" group, Millenials, are 3.5 times more likely than other groups to make a brand selection based on their iPhone apps!
I interviewed Mariana Quintana, the Business Development Manager to get the scoop on this new digital mobile couponing system.
How was Savvy Penny born?
The inventor and founder, Jesus Carvallo, was obsessed with coupons when he arrived here in the US. Why? This was completely new to his Latin American culture. He saw how US consumers were ubiquitously using coupons and the culture was clearly coupon oriented. However he repeatedly heard complaints about forgetting the coupons and retailers have always found processing paper coupons to be costly, time consuming and having a certain level of fraud.
Briefly what was the "consumer problem" that the founder saw that generated this product?
Jesus identified 2 problems. The consumer problem was the time and effort it takes to find, clip coupons, store them for later use and then REMEMBER to bring them to the supermarket. The retailer problem was coupon validation, making sure the right coupon was applied to the right product purchased during the time frame expressed on the coupon. A completely paperless system tied to the consumer's Smartphone, the retailers point of sale checkout system solves both problems seamlessly and gives the consumer a far better shopping experience.
Milams Market in Coconut Grove, Florida is has been testing the system for approximately one year and Savvy Penny is planning a launch with 14 stores in the New York City area in the near future.
How does this work?
Jesus felt using Bluetooth was a way to communicate between the consumers phone and the checkout computer system (customers are very familiar with Bluetooth as a way for hands free cell phone operations. He partnered with his cousin who worked at NASA to develop the technology for their proof of concept.
Upon entering the supermarket, the consumer enters their mobile phone number into the kiosk and gets instantly connected via Bluetooth. For now this registration process is necessary so Savvy Penny knows who you are so they get those coupon savings to be "deposited" into your Savvy account. On the retailer side, their computers are connected to the Savvy Penny database via the Internet. Coupons are tied to the product UPC and all information is stored in the cloud.
There are small touch screen panels in each aisle that display coupon savings for products in that aisle. Select what is available and voila! Coupons go into your virtual coupon bank! Savvy Penny uses in-store signage and shelf talkers to create awareness with the consumer, incentivizing new users to give it a try and reinforcing existing users to use it more frequently.
Your coupon savings are redeemed at the check-out… the savings are reflected on the printed receipt just as with traditional paper coupons.
What makes Savvy Penny unique amongst the many digital coupon/shopping platforms?
Mariana said that Savvy is "the only digital coupon system available for targeted promotions in store, allowing the consumer to make the decision at the point of sale". for retailers, this is a new revenue stream. The screens are a supermarket medium so they can actually sell advertising to brands that is not only in-store based but also consumer specific… since they know who you are your past purchase behavior.
On the fraud reduction side, paper coupons are easily tampered with and for a coupon to be redeemed correctly, retailers must rely on the cashiers diligence in accepting valid coupons and insure they tie back to the purchase.
Digital Natives Technology and Food - The Competition is Heating Up
There is and will be lots of competition for ???? Stop and Shop has rolled out their newScan It! app and Kraft's new iPhone Assistant not only delivers coupons, it also delivers recipes and tailors future coupon offerings based on how often you view certain recipe videos. JWT's Ann Mack says "We have 2 groups… the Digital Immigrants (Baby Boomers) vs. Digital Natives (Millennials). Digital Natives do not make a distinction between online and offline". Don't count out Walmart, they are focusing digital and socian initiatives with MyLocal Walmart on Facebook and their still not fully cooked Walmart Shopping App
Will Savvy Penny look at users shopping behavior over time to improve the consumer's experience? For sure. How do I see this evolving from proof of concept to full rollout? They need to have less reliance on the kiosk registration and move toward registering through the downloadable app. The touch screens in the aisles are a good way to test the concept but could be more scalable using some form of Bluetooth proximity devices located on the shelf. Hmmm… the future may be smart "shelf talkers" that follow you around the store.