Giant Eagle Tests Customer Loyalty Program

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Giant Eagle Tests Customer Loyalty Program

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Giant Eagle Inc. is piloting a Personal Shopping System customer-loyalty program in two regional stores to offer more targeted promotions to its customers. It will allow the chain to better cash in on the wealth of data it has collected from customers who have used its Advantage Card program over the past eight years, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The chain also is offering steep gas discounts based on in-store purchase volume at some stores that have gas pumps. Kane said a goal is to establish the system in its GetGo convenience stores.

At four grocery stores with gasoline ? the Waterfront in Homestead, Washington, Sarver and the Allegheny Township locations ? the company is offering through year's end a 10-cent-per-gallon gas-price reduction for each $50 spent in the store. These coupons can be accumulated and used in a single transaction for up to 80 cents off per gallon.
"Customers love it," Kane said. "Eventually, we would like it to have everything operated electronically at the pump," instead of with a coupon.

The Giant Eagle store in Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County, will debut the company's latest technology, said Rebecca Kane, director of customer relationship marketing. New technologies are better piloted in suburban areas, she said. The test also is going on at a store in Butler County and five others in the Erie area, according to the Tribune-Review.

Using the new Personal Shopping System, customers swipe their Advantage Card at the system's touchscreen monitors and then view special discounts and promotions based on their shopping history.

"We're looking to see how customers react to the screens" before deciding to roll the program out to more stores, Kane told the newspaper. "We're looking to find the right mix between everyday offers and targeted offers."

Giant Eagle mails coupons to customers every six or eight weeks based on their previous purchases. Kane said the new system would provide customers similar offers instantaneously while inside the store.

The software Giant Eagle is using was developed by Copient Technologies, a spinoff of research at Purdue University in Indiana. Giant Eagle is the second chain in the nation to install the system. Copient recently was acquired by NCR Corp., of Dayton, Ohio, which is supplying the system hardware and subsidizing the Giant Eagle pilot, according to the Tribune-Review.