County Market gets lift from digital coupon transition

Niemann Foods’ County Market has seen a fourfold jump in the redemption rate for its Penny Pincher coupons since making the paper-to-digital transition with the help of technology partner Birdzi.

The digital Penny Pinchers format leverages Birdzi’s artificial intelligence-based customer engagement solutions to highlight relevant offers for each shopper in the County Market app, Iselin, NJ-based Birdzi said. When clipped, the coupons are automatically added to each shopper’s profile and activated at checkout. Birdzi dashboards also monitor the success of Penny Pinchers coupons in real time, enabling County Market to adjust campaigns as needed.

Overall, County Market operates 42 grocery stores in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. The grocer’s parent company, Quincy, Ill.-based Niemann Foods Inc., runs a network of more than 100 grocery, pet food, hardware and drug stores and gas stations under multiple banners in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

“We were impressed by our shoppers’ willingness to switch to digital Penny Pinchers,” Avry Brown, consumer engagement manager for Niemann Foods, said in a statement. “With Birdzi, we witness an over 400% increase in digital coupon redemption rates compared to previous digital coupon trials in just the first month.”

According to Birdzi, County Market aimed at shifting the popular Penny Pincher paper coupons to a digital format to cut printing costs, boost shopper engagement through more personalization and, in turn, increase profit. To that end, the grocer tapped customer engagement specialist Birdzi to enable virtual ad circulars. The tech firm already hosted County Market’s mobile app and previously worked with the retailer to implement a web app, personalized email marketing, and customer segmentation and analytics capabilities.

In December, County Market began the transition to digital by offering two to five digital coupons via its app for two months. The grocer used signage, flyers and bag stuffers to educate and encourage customers to download the app. QR codes were placed next to selected items and, when scanned, the codes launched the app and took customers to the related coupon. All in-store associates also were trained to use the platform so they could assist customers. By March, County Market had rolled out the digital Penny Pincher campaign to all of its stores.

“Birdzi has been an essential partner for us as we enhance the customer journey for both our in-store and online customers,” Brown added.

At a fraction of the cost of paper circulars, County Market’s digital Penny Pinchers coupons in their first month drove a more than 300% increase in the number of digitally engaged customers, while monthly app downloads and web registrations surged 500%, Birdzi reported. Also, 80% of shoppers who clipped and activated an offer redeemed it with a purchase, and the overall redemption rate for the digital coupons came in at 45%, representing a 400% gain from previous redemption rates.

“County Market did an exceptional job encouraging customers to try the digital Penny Pincher,” accoding to Shekar Raman, co-founder and CEO of Birdzi. “As a result, County Market immediately earned lifts in loyalty and engagement. Over time, they will gain invaluable data and customer intelligence that can be used to better cater to the needs of their shoppers and improve profitability.”

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