In the US, Sam's Club has introduced paperless coupons and offers through its membership benefit programme, eValues, which is included in both the Advantage and Business versions of the Sam's Club Plus Membership.
Sam's Club Plus Members will now receive customised offers tailored to their own interests and preferences, and all discounts will be automatically applied at the checkout using their existing membership cards. And, while the Advantage and Business memberships cost US$100 per year, Sam's Club estimates that members could save over US$200 more each year through the eValues programme.
According to Cindy Davis, executive vice president of membership, marketing and e-commerce for Sam's Club, the new paperless couponing programme aims to simplify members' lives a little by eliminating paper coupons that require the member to actively redeem them.
Members can access their eValues accounts and manage their offers and discounts online, and Sam's Club has also installed kiosks in more than 600 of its stores throughout the US to provide members with their eValues details in-store. Both the web site and the kiosks can send an eValues shopping list to the member's iPhone, Blackberry, or smart phone.
According to a September 2008 study by the Promotion Marketing Association, 89% of American consumers reported that they use coupons when shopping, and 97% said that they use coupons at supermarkets. The average coupon user who spends 10 minutes each week on coupon clipping saves an average of US$7 by doing so.
The eValues offers are completely electronic and are therefore more eco-friendly than printed offers which, according to the PMA, involved some 256 billion printed coupons in 2008 alone. According to Unilever director, Brian Lernihan, "The eValues programme lets us distribute targeted consumer offers on a one-to-one basis while also building brand loyalty."