A fresh way to offer daily grocery deals

August 15, 2011

Lowes Foods is the first supermarket to try new daily-deal approach, with today’s launch of Aisle50.com

Groupon-style promotions build trial, but merchants and restaurateurs have been frustrated by the lack of a loyalty mechanism. Operators pay to give great opening deals in attempts to expand their customer base, yet many patrons never revisit to pay full price.

Also, while offers spark a demand surge, this peak is tough to meet without compromising service to regular full-paying patrons.  

Aisle50.com has designed its new grocery deal website, which launches today, to build shopper traffic and eliminate these challenges. Through Aisle50.com, grocers offer one 50%-off-everyday-price item deal every morning. Consumers taking the deal pre-pay for the item at the website, and the website issues a credit for the item to their retail frequent shopper card. The next time the person checks out during a store visit and picks up the item, the item credit is used.

The website’s opening day deal is for 32-ounce Chobani Greek Yogurt at Lowes Foods in North Carolina.

The Lempert Report believes shoppers will try Aisle50.com, especially if the website makes it clearer that deals are stored on their loyalty cards – and that deal purchasers don’t have to run to stores to redeem that day. These deals could become seamless parts of their next shopping trips.

Stores benefit from the orderly manner in which demand is filled. Unlike ‘extreme couponers’ who might swoop in, empty shelves and create out-of-stocks, it appears with Aisle50.com retailers will be able to plan properly for inventory needs and satisfy all of their shoppers.

Moreover, the daily e-mail announcing deals will bear the store’s logo and offer just one item at a time. This seems to us a simple, direct, unobtrusive and relationship building approach. The Lempert Report also thinks this could induce trial for new foods as well and potentially lead shoppers into sections of stores they might not have gone to before.

In our view, Aisle50.com should find a place alongside traditional and digital coupons because of their deep discounts, orderly structure, brands reinforcement and trip-building nature.