Money saving apps and Retailers

As a Consumer, a challenge I have with shopping both in-person and online is – am I missing an offer or coupon or promo code and related rewards and savings? A few popular solutions like Groupon, RetailMeNot, Rakuten (formerly ebates) etc. are of some help, time to time throwing up offers or coupons or promo codes resulting in some savings. With thousands and thousands of offers and coupons and promo codes floating in the market, I am always unsure if that was the best offer or coupon or promo code and I am left with a lingering feeling if I was missing some more savings or rewards.

I discovered Money saving apps like wikibuy (now Capital One shopping) and Honey, both available as browser extensions or mobile apps. There are many more options like Ibotta for grocery, CamelCamelCamel for Amazon shopping, GoodRX for pharmacy, Swagbucks, Checkout 51 etc. Once installed these browser extensions or apps automatically search for the best offers or coupons or promo codes, compare prices across multiple platforms and apply or suggest the best one automatically, save money and / or fetch you rewards. These Money saving apps have other features but the most important being the one I mentioned. I particularly use wikibuy as it is owned by Capital One, a leading credit card company and gives me a reassurance that it is safe and is not taking away my personal data in return. The Money saving apps solves my problem to a large extent. giving me the satisfaction of the best purchase without too much effort. A few businesses have started automatically extending offers or applying coupons or promo codes without having the customer rely on money saving apps like Uber or select Pizza chains but not all of them.

Businesses are offering special deals or commissions to these money saving apps to drive footfall and traffic to their websites or stores. Wouldn’t it be better for Retailers specifically to own this rather than leave it to Money saving apps to fill the gap? Retailers running loyalty programs have customer data and can recognize them on all the channels and it is much easier for them to extend offers and automatically apply coupons and promo codes. Can Retailers not do all this automatically without being vague and hiding offers or coupons or promo codes and be more transparent? Can Retailers not pass on savings and rewards to customers automatically and directly on their websites or mobile apps? Will this not increase credibility and trust? Perhaps this will happen in the next few months or years in the process of Retail evolution.

As always I welcome your feedback.

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