Walmart sees big increase in digital coupons

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) saw an 18.4 percent increase in digital coupon events on Walmart.com in 2014, according to data released last week by Marx, a Kantar Media solution.

Walmart also enhanced its consumer promotion activity with a 15.7 percent increase in Free Standing Insert (FSI) promotion pages. In comparison, Target had the second-highest levels of advertising expenditures and retailer FSI promotion pages behind Walmart, but its advertising decreased 6.1 percent, while its FSI promotion pages dropped 11.1 percent and its digital coupon events on Target.com decreased by 36.6 percent. This comes at a time when Target is making a major push in digital offers.

"These shifts in advertising and promotion may ultimately translate into shifts in share of shoppers, trips and sales between these two leading retailers," said a Kantar company statement.

Overall, digital coupon events on retailer websites were up 16.5 percent, with retailer FSI promotion pages up 11.8 percent, while retailer feature ad pages were up 4.2 percent and retailer advertising expenditures were down 2.8 percent.

"These trends indicate retailer and manufacturer marketing dollars are increasingly being directed toward programs that communicate specific and easy-to-understand value to the shopper," said Dan Kitrell, VP of Marx Account Solutions at Kantar Media.

"Although retailer advertising provides continuity and builds equity with shoppers, retailer FSI coupon events effectively reach shoppers in the home when they are writing shopping lists and planning shopping trips, while digital coupons distributed on a retailer's website provide relevant incentives to shoppers who are likely planning a trip to that retailer. Finally, retailer feature ads frequently make the value of the combined offers easier for the shopper to understand by 'showing the math,' including regular price, feature price and net price paid after the coupon savings are applied," he said.

Digital coupon event activity at other retailers indexed by the research was also up significantly. Among supermarkets, Kroger was up 29.1 percent, and AB Acquisition LLC, which operates Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Acme Markets, among other former Albertsons banners, was up 28.2 percent. In the drugstore channel, Walgreens increased a whopping 110.3 percent, CVS was up 23.8 percent and Rite Aid increased by 13 percent.

The study showed both Kroger and AB Acquisition increasing FSI promotion pages by about 10 percent, with decreases in advertising dollars of 4.4 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively. Walgreens decreased its FSI promotion page spending by 1.8 percent, CVS increased it by 47.2 percent, and spending for Rite Aid was up 11.8 percent. In advertising dollars, Walgreens saw an increase of 9.7 percent, CVS saw a 10.3 percent rise and Rite Aid saw a 4.5 percent rise.

For more:
See this Kantar Media press release

Related stories:
Dollar General expanding digital coupon offerings
Kroger buys digital coupon provider You Tech
Food Lion launches new digital coupon program
Target broke digital records this holiday
Target hires three new tech execs in digital buildout

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