Safeway tries targeted couponing

I don’t usually comment on food retailing on RetailWire, but I did weigh in recently on a new promotional tactic by Safeway. It is planning to shift its emphasis from coupons aimed at its entire customer base to more targeted efforts built on consumer preferences. Its frequent shoppers will receive more point-of-sale offers useful on their next visit toward products that they actually like to buy. I think more retailers (food and non-food) can learn from this approach if they apply the necessary technology:

Using a rifle instead of a shotgun for more promotional messages is a smart move by Safeway — and would be a smart move for other retailers, whether they sell food or other categories. If there is a lesson learned from the ongoing success of Amazon (beyond assortment and price), it’s the use of technology to tailor promotional offers and new product introductions to specific consumer tastes. (And “deal of the day” sites are still a step behind in developing more targeted offers.) Safeway deserves praise for moving forward on a more targeted, interactive and potentially cost-efficient way to drive more sales.

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