Why do I keep getting personalized coupons for products I have no interest in?


Like a well-trained customer, the first thing I do after walking into CVS is head straight to the kiosk and scan my loyalty card. The system then prints out some coupons, which are presumably based on my purchase history and the products they feel I’m likely to be interested in. However, this is rarely the case. Instead, I receive discounts and special offers on things that I never end up buying, and the coupons go to waste.

The store probably uses a fairly complex algorithm to decide which coupons to give each customer. But you’d think they would be able to factor in the historical coupon redemptions to see if the offers are actually a good fit. For instance, there are a few products that I’ve gotten at least two or three coupons for in the past six months. I’ve never used any of these coupons. Thus, it follows that the system should factor in this behavior to influence the coupons they present me with in the future.

Granted, I’m sure it’s quite complex to cross reference coupons issued to a given loyalty card number, versus actual redemptions of those coupons with the same loyalty card. However, if a retailer has already made the substantial investment to provide a loyalty program, in-store kiosks, and personalized coupons, it seems like the incremental cost of tying it all together would be worthwhile. By making those connections, customers would receive more relevant offers that match up with their actual shopping behavior and interests. As a result, coupon redemption rates would rise, and the loyalty program would become more worthwhile for all the parties involved.