Hannaford launches digital rewards program with personalized coupons

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Hannaford is rolling out a new, digital-only customer loyalty program based around a smartphone app that delivers a personalized stream of digital coupons to each customer.

Known as My Hannaford Rewards, the program requires customers to download a Hannaford app that is available on both the Google and Apple app stores. The app serves up a new batch of electronic coupons each week that is tailored to that customer’s buying preferences based on past shopping activity. It is similar in functionality to Shaw’s supermarkets’ “MyMixx” app, but with a few differences.

Hannaford is aggregating coupons from third-party digital coupon providers as well as creating its own coupons, company President Mike Vail said.

Customers who join the program also will accrue in-store credit for every Hannaford brand product they buy, Vail said. The credit is equal to 2 percent of each eligible product’s price. Eligible brands include Hannaford, Taste of Inspirations, Nature’s Place, Home 360, Cha-Ching, Etos, Companion, CareOne and Healthy Accents products.

The store credit will be deducted from customers’ bills once per quarter when they shop at Hannaford, he said.

“My Hannaford Rewards is a new way to thank customers, with a 2 percent reward on private-brand items and coupon offers that are meaningful to them as individuals,” he said.

Customers using the app select the coupons they want to redeem, which generates a bar code that is scanned by the cashier at checkout. If they aren’t using any coupons, they still can have the bar code scanned or enter their phone number at checkout to receive their store credit, Vail said.

The program differs from other customer loyalty programs in that there is no “two-tier pricing,” Vail said. Hannaford will continue to charge the same prices on all items for all customers regardless of whether they join the program, but customers who do join will receive rewards and have access to the digital coupons, he said.

To join the program, a customer must sign up through the app or inside a Hannaford store. Each customer must provide a full name, email address, phone number and home address. Hannaford spokesman Eric Blom said the information is needed to identify each customer and track household shopping habits in order to serve up more useful coupons.

The information will not be shared with third parties, Blom said.

“None of it is being sold,” he said. “All of it is being carefully protected.”

Hannaford began test-marketing the program in October in Burlington, Vermont. In addition, company employees have been beta testing the app since August.

Based on customer reviews, some have experienced problems getting the app to work properly.

The Hannaford app has a customer review score of 2 out of 5 stars on Apple devices, and 2.8 out of 5 stars on Android devices. Several reviewers said the app is glitchy and often doesn’t work properly. Some said they’ve had difficulty signing up or signing in to the app, and a few said they have to delete and reinstall the app every time they want to use it.

Blom said the app did have some technical issues, but that those have been addressed through software updates.

“That’s why we did the pilot programs,” he said.

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