(UPDATED June 6) Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is giving consumers a reason to triple-check their receipts. At its annual shareholder meeting, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said it will take its Savings Catcher program nationwide this summer.
Along with the geographic expansion is a plan to add more produce items to the price comparison tool.
“Currently, we already match (packaged produce) within the Savings Catcher,” said Molly Blakeman, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. “It includes bagged salads and things like that. The addition will include weighted produce compared to local leading retailers’ advertised prices.”
The Savings Catcher, tested in a few select markets over the past few months, allows consumers to enter their receipt number and date of purchase into the website or Walmart’s mobile app. Through the proprietary technology, receipts are checked against local competitors’ advertised prices, giving customers an eGift Card for the difference when a competitor’s price is lower.
This is a low-risk, high-reward opportunity for Wal-Mart, said James Tenser of Tucson, Ariz.-based VSN Strategies. It’s a lot of data to handle, Tenser said.
“That’s still a mere fraction of all the items in the store, even all the promoted items in the store,” he said. “That makes it manageable and a wonderful basis for a low-price claim for Wal-Mart.”
The pool of consumers who actually take the time to enter their receipts also is limited, he said.
“Only a certain amount will enter their receipt,” he said. “On the other hand, think of the data, even the partial presentation that this brings to Wal-Mart. It’s loyalty card data without the loyalty card. It’s a treasure trove. No one has the quantity of transactions that Wal-Mart has.”
The nationwide rollout is expected over the next few months, Blakeman said.
Future developments for Savings Catcher include adding features to allow consumers to upload receipts to find the lowest price available in their area for items purchased as well as integrate eReceipts with eCoupons and automated shopping lists.
“We are going to win by integrating digital and physical,” Duncan Mac Naughton chief merchandising and marketing officer for Wal-Mart U.S., said in a news release. “Savings Catcher and its expanding capabilities are just one example of that. We are well-positioned to innovate and lead in the tech space, and you’ll see more of this.”