Making personalized promotions easier to redeem


When I walked into the pharmacy the other day, I did what I always do and stopped at the kiosk to scan my loyalty card. Aside from a mediocre coupon for a brand I rarely buy, the kiosk also printed a rather puzzling voucher. Basically, the voucher said that if I presented it at the register, I would receive double points for any spending during the next month or so.

This sounded like a no-brainer to me, so I gave the coupon to the pharmacist at checkout. He tried several times to scan it or enter the number by hand. The printout was rather fuzzy, so he eventually gave up and recommended that I try again during my next visit.

As I thought about this experience, I wondered: if the store is already going to the trouble of printing a personalized voucher offering the double points benefit, why do I need to take a separate action to redeem that benefit? Why not just provide the double points automatically, and change the printout to say that the benefit has been applied to my loyalty account? By getting rid of the extra steps that add little or no value, the retailer could provide a smoother experience for shoppers, while freeing staff from the hassle of scanning a voucher that really shouldn’t be part of the process in the first place.