Distributor United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) is helping grocery retailers serve up shopper saving via a partnership with blockchain-based digital coupon platform CoupDog.
CoupDog’s solution integrates a secure, scalable distributed ledger with popular mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, as well as Retailer Load2Card platforms. It also fully supports the new 8112 Universal Digital Coupon (UDC) format, which enables shoppers to redeem coupons from mobile phones instead of having to print or cut out paper coupons.
In announcing the partnership yesterday, Providence, R.I.-based UNFI said CoupDog gives its more than 30,000 retailer customers access to an easy-to-use, reliable digital coupon platform that can drive higher participation in manufacturer-funded coupon redemption. UNFI noted that, by leveraging its supplier network, it also can enhance vendor marketing and merchandising and improve overall deals and offers for consumers.
“Retailers rely on UNFI to help them discover what’s next, introduce them to new opportunities to drive growth and efficiencies, and deliver insights and expertise that help them succeed in their market. To that end, we’re excited to be working with CoupDog to unleash the latest in digital technology to redefine coupons for grocery retail,” UNFI President Chris Testa said in a statement. “Our focus is on solutions that empower retailers to grow and thrive while improving the customer experience for shoppers.”
Historically, retailers have had to balance the savings, promotional and loyalty benefits of coupons with concerns about fraud. Toronto-based CoupDoug said its platform addresses that by leveraging blockchain, a distributed ledger technology that consists of an expanding list of digital records — called blocks — that cannot be altered and are securely linked. On the consumer end, this means a simpler, hassle-free way to discover and redeem digital coupons from national, regional and emerging CPG companies.
“These technologically advanced coupons not only deliver a more reliable and secure transaction, but they are also structured to reduce costs, improve cash flow, increase shopper loyalty and drive retailer profits,” according to Testa.
CoupDog noted that digital coupons from its platform seamlessly integrate with retailer point-of-sale, e-commerce and marketing solutions. The tech company also said it manages coupon acceptance, validation and redemption — with no additional labor needed from retailers — and its solution integrates with UNFI’s current paper-coupon clearing service, expediting payment to retailers.
“We are very excited to be working with UNFI to empower independent grocers to deliver a modern, simple, easy-to-use digital coupon platform,” stated Rob Balfour, CEO of CoupDog. “We are proud to provide these retailers with best-in-class promotional tools, allowing them to deliver compelling promotions and significant cost savings to their customers.”
North America’s largest publicly traded grocery distributor, UNFI operates 56 distribution centers and supplies more than 30,000 retailers in the United States and Canada, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice providers.