E-Couponing Brings Real-Time Coupons To Customers’ Fingertips at REAL Stores

Shoppers at 320 German REAL hypermarkets can now access personalized coupons using their mobile devices as they shop store aisles. The  real,- digital coupon system was developed in conjunction with IBM.


REAL is using the new system in conjunction with its print coupon program. “Now shoppers can continue to get their print coupons but also can access online coupons,” according to Philipp Blome, Head of CRM and Online Marketing for REAL, a division of Metro GROUP, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We still believe print is very important but we are now able to reach new customer segments, especially younger shoppers who are proficient in digital channels.”


Called “3V – Value Voucher Validation,” the new system ispart of the REAL Payback customer loyalty program. Shoppers enrolled in Payback can now use their mobile devices to browse online coupons while shopping in-store. They are able to select coupons from the Payback web site or from the Payback app on their smartphones. In less than one second, the system confirms and transfers an e-coupon to the store’s database.


“REAL’s e-couponing system demonstrates that retailers can deliver timely and customized coupons so that marketing feels more like a welcomed service,” noted Falk Nieder, consultant at IBM Global Business Services.



Integration At The POS
One of the driving forces behind the REAL e-couponing systemwas the ability to integrate the process with the stores’ point of sale (POS) systems. At checkout, the personalized coupons are redeemed using the shopper’s loyalty information. “We do not offer every coupon to every shopper, since every customer has different needs and desires,” noted Blome. “Therefore, we
want to target specific customers based on the loyalty card system.”


The new 3V coupon system at REAL is based on existing IBM solutions at METRO GROUP, which are compliant with the EPC Information Services Standard (EPCIS) of EPCglobal. The system is based on IBM InfoSphere Traceability Server, a high-performance data storage device, that is able to manage and analyze large amounts of data, integrate master data systems and provide data in real-time for internal and external applications.


“We are really happy with the way the solution is working,” Blome reported. In addition to providing a more convenient way for shoppers to access personalized coupons, the system also is providing essential analytical data to REAL.

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