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Lifestyle

July 19, 2013

Be smart about couponing apps

(Continued)

My thoughts:

Taking a photograph of a coupon and presenting it to the cashier is akin to making a photocopy of a coupon and trying to get the cashier to accept it. That’s a form of counterfeiting and coupon fraud. Allowing users to then share these images of coupons with each other is problematic as well.

As I looked at this particular app, I saw a postcard offering one free clothing item, which had been mailed to a shopper. The shopper is supposed to hand in the postcard to receive the free item. Yet, images of those postcards were being shared to everyone using the app. Cashiers should certainly question the validity of these coupons.

So which coupon apps would I recommend? Here are a few:

Grocery IQ: Created by Coupons.com, Grocery IQ is a shopping list planning app. You can create your own shopping lists by using your phone to scan the barcodes of product packaging that you’ve already got, and that item will be added to your list. If your store participates in load-to-card functionality for Coupons.com offers, the app can integrate them with your list.

Shopper: Shopper is another popular grocery list planning app. It too allows you to scan product barcodes and add them to the list. You also can group your lists by store, and I like its auto-fill functionality when you begin typing the name of an item you wish to add to the list. You also can access the flyers from your local stores via the app.

Ibotta: Ibotta is a payback shopping app. Load offers before you go to the store, and after you shop, take a photo of your receipt with the app and upload it. Within 24 hours, your account is credited with the value of the offers you chose.

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