New Shortcuts Service Launches to Make Online Coupons
...As Easy as Click, Shop and Save Money
The Kroger Co. Signs on to Link Shortcuts Program With Store Loyalty Cards
Free Ebook on Grocery Savings Strategies Available to Consumers
Dulles, VA . – Shortcuts ( http://www.shortcuts.com ), a new free service for paperless online coupons from AOL, launched today making it even easier for grocery shoppers to save money by linking online coupons to their store loyalty cards. The first retail partner to endorse this program is The Kroger Co., the largest pure grocery chain in the U.S. with 2,487 stores in 31 states under local brands such as Kroger, Ralphs, King Soopers and Fry’s. General Mills, Kimberly-Clark and Kraft are the first partners to sign on to participate with coupons for their popular consumer brands.
Starting today, shoppers can visit http://www.shortcuts.com to set up an account using the store loyalty card they use at any of The Kroger Co. grocery stores. The next step is easy. Consumers simply search the Shortcuts online coupon service by brand, product or category and click on grocery coupons they want to add to their card. When consumers shop for groceries they simply scan their loyalty card at checkout and the coupons are automatically applied to their purchases. Shoppers no longer need to clip or print coupons to save money on their favorite products.
For consumers who rely on paper coupons to help them make purchasing decisions, Shortcuts allows shoppers to print out a sorted list of “clicked” coupons to take to the grocery store. Shoppers can review their savings immediately on the register receipt as well as online at http://www.shortcuts.com. Users can also choose to receive email alerts detailing coupons redeemed, savings to-date and the value of coupons remaining on their loyalty card.
“Everyone wants to save money at the grocery store, but the hassle of paper coupons gets in the way,” said Sharon Baker, Executive Director, Shortcuts. “Shortcuts offers a simple online solution that takes scissors out of the equation. Shoppers simply click to add coupons to their store loyalty cards, swipe at the register and save money. It really doesn’t get any easier.”
“We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to build customer loyalty and saw the Shortcuts program as another way of helping us to do so,” said Ken Fenyo, Vice President, Corporate Loyalty, The Kroger Co. “Shoppers are spending more time online and are always looking for ways to save money and save time. Shortcuts is a perfect fit, and we’re excited to work together to launch this program.”
More than 257 million coupons were distributed in 2007 and the vast majority of these were delivered via freestanding newspaper inserts that consumers often receive with the Sunday paper.  Meanwhile, 81 percent of shoppers have and use at least one store loyalty card, and 75 percent of these use the card weekly. 
AOL’s Shortcuts program offers coupons redeemable for brands such as Cheerios, Green Giant and Yoplait from General Mills. Later this month, the Shortcuts service will also offer coupons for popular brands from Kimberly-Clark and Kraft. More consumer packaged goods partners are expected to join Shortcuts in the coming months.
“Shortcuts is a way for us to complement our existing product marketing strategies to reach grocery shoppers online,” said Karl Schmidt, Director of Promotion Marketing, General Mills. “While online couponing is still a relatively new concept, there’s nothing out there as easy for consumers as Shortcuts and we are excited about the potential Shortcuts has to break open the online coupon marketplace.”
“Half of consumers do not receive the Sunday newspaper and therefore do not clip newspaper coupons,” said Laura Keely, Director of Consumer Promotion Marketing, Kimberly-Clark. “These consumers look for news and offers online. Shortcuts gives Kimberly-Clark the ability to reach these tech-savvy consumers where they are and gives them a hassle-free way to access digital coupons.”
“We are excited to participate in the Shortcuts program as a way to help us accelerate our understanding of the impact of digital couponing and shopper marketing,” said Joan Francolini, Senior Director, Promotion Services, Kraft Foods. “We see this as a great opportunity to make the use of online coupons more user-friendly and to leverage our partnerships with some of our key customers.”
The benefits are clear for grocery retailers and consumer products manufacturers as well. Shortcuts offers an easier, faster, automated redemption process. Plus, the “green” aspects of the program are undeniable as tons of paper coupons could be eliminated, not to mention the energy and labor involved in transporting and sorting coupons at off-site clearinghouses.
To save money at the grocery store visit the Shortcuts web site at http://www.shortcuts.com to sign up. You’ll also be able to download a free ebook written by The Coupon Mom Stephanie Nelson called “Shortcuts and The Coupon Mom System Show You How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half.” Full of tips to help shoppers take full advantage of coupons, this ebook shows shoppers how to cut their grocery bills in half and see significant savings on their receipt every time they shop for groceries.
 2007 Free Standing Insert Distribution Trends, Marx Promotion Intelligence
 CMS: 2006 TRENDS
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