Lately I’ve been thinking about Safeway/Randall’s Just4U program, where the store personalizes coupons “just for you” based on your buying history and sends them to your smart phone. No need to clip coupons, they just show up on your phone.
Which sounds like a great idea, until you realize that two women could be standing side by side in a Randall’s, buying the same bag of chips- and one will be charged $1 less because she got a special Just 4 U coupon that the other women has NO access to. That picture, above, is from my account. Does my sister get the same deal? Can anyone get chips for $3.81? If not, is that a problem or is that just savvy business?
Also, I wonder if the program disenfranchises those who use paper coupons, and how it leaves out those who need coupons the most- those who can’t afford a smart phone and the elderly on fixed incomes, who statistically are less likely to own the latest generation of technology.
Perhaps it’s the customization aspect of it- it’s one thing to offer mobile coupons, it’s quite another to offer the savings only to certain people at certain times, while other shoppers have no way of ever getting those savings.