Cash strapped consumers, even those far too lazy to clip anything out of a newspaper, can increasingly leverage technology to save at the grocery store check out. Going online to print out coupons seems simple and straightforward, but now there will be an even easier way for consumers to save.
Coupons.comhas seen a surge since the recession, unique viewers to the site growing 85 percent from April to May. Today Coupons.com announced three new applications for mobile phones, so you can redeem a coupon at the checkout stand with your phone. It's perfectly suited to the iPhone - use the Coupons.com app to browse available coupons, even selecting based on GPS location, then when you're checking out show the coupon on the phone for the discount.
Coupons.com is also partnering with the popular iPhone app called Grocery iQ 2.0 that allows you to manage your grocery shopping lists. The app, which is the top paid lifestyle application in the Apple store will now allow users to user their iPhone to scan bar codes to automatically add items to their grocery list. And of course that list can be cross-referenced with relevant coupons, to basically digitize the entire process except loading up your grocery cart.
(Check out CNBC.com's story about the surge in digital coupon usagethis summer.)
The company also announced a new capability called "save to card" that allows shoppers to save coupons directly to their store loyalty cards. It's not as cool as the mobile phone app, but it's pretty straightforward for people who are used to swiping a card or inputting their phone number for a discount at check out. Here you'd input your loyalty card from Safeway or VONS online where you could browse for relevant Coupons, then when you check out the discounts are automatically applied.
The newspaper industry's struggles with a massive decline in ad revenueinclude a drop off in all those inserts packed with coupons for everything from your local grocery store to Best Buy . Not only is this reason for advertisers to stop spending on those glossy inserts, it's also one less reason to buy a newspaper - bad news for both the subscription and ad revenue streams.
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