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    Giant Eagle Testing Clipless Coupons in Cleveland

    PITTSBURGH -- Giant Eagle Inc. here is testing an Internet-based system in the Cleveland market that enables customers to download coupons directly from its Web straight to their Advantage shopper loyalty cards, for automatic redemption at the register.

    PITTSBURGH -- Giant Eagle Inc. here is testing an Internet-based system in the Cleveland market that enables customers to download coupons directly from its Web straight to their Advantage shopper loyalty cards, for automatic redemption at the register.

    The new service, dubbed "e-Offers," will not replace traditional coupons but will instead add another level of customer convenience by eliminating the need to clip coupons and present them at the register, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

    A Giant Eagle spokesman confirmed with Progressive Grocer that the clipless coupon pilot program up and running in the Northeast Ohio market, where it operates roughly 100 stores, but declined further comment until the chain has had time to evaluate more qualitative and quantitative results from the new program.

    In order to utilize "e-Offers," registered Giant Eagle shoppers log into the chain's homepage (www.gianteagle.com) and browse through manufacturer coupons posted on the "e-Offers" page. This week, 16 coupon offers were available, including cents-off discounts on products such as Sweet-N-Low, Minute Maid frozen juice pops, and Woolite stain remover.

    In a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a Giant Eagle spokesman said the service eventually will offer as many as 100 coupons, and the list will be updated frequently. The free service is offered through a partnership with SmartSource, an agency specializing in Internet-based marketing.

    Once selected, the coupon data is transmitted through Giant Eagle's network to the individual customer's Advantage Card. Three hours later, the discounts become active and can be redeemed with the card at checkout within 14 days.

    The chain's spokesman said the new program offers a multitude of benefits, not only with increased customer loyalty, but also for CPG manufacturers and the chain itself, which can gain paperless efficiencies and eliminate coupon abuse and misuse.

    "E-Offer" coupons, which limit customers to 20 downloads at a time, cannot be doubled and expire in two weeks.

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