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1.4 million US users in three months: The meteoric rise of grocery coupon app Checkout 51

By Elaine WATSON , 28-Apr-2014
Last updated on 28-Apr-2014 at 18:19 GMT

Grocery coupon app Checkout51 snags 1.4m US users in three months

Just over three months after launching in the US market, grocery coupon app Checkout 51  has attracted an eye-boggling 1.4 million users, and expects to attract tens of millions more. Why? Because it’s really easy to use, says co-founder Noah Godfrey.

The strapline - ‘Buy groceries, get cash back’ - says it all, says Godfrey - a serial entrepreneur whose resume includes stints as a child actor, a newspaper proprietor, and media investment banker.

It’s super easy.”

There is no coupon cutting, or printing off online offers, and no delays at the checkout while you fumble around with your smartphone looking for online coupons to scan, says Godfrey, who is based in Toronto, Canada, where Checkout51 is already the #1 free lifestyle app in the Apple App Store with 700,000+ users.

Instead, you buy groceries, and get cash back later, just like a credit card rewards scheme, leaving the cashier to focus on getting you - and the queue of people behind you - through the checkout as fast as possible, he says.

So how does it work? Every Thursday, Checkout 51 updates users with new offers - typically between 15 and 40. If you buy any of the products on offer, you upload a photo of the receipt to Checkout51. When your account credits reach $20, you can opt to receive a check or continue racking up credits for a bigger payout later.

Checkout51, meanwhile, gets a fee from its grocery manufacturer partners every time a coupon is redeemed.  

Instead of spraying and praying with all those coupons to print and distribute, CPG partners can give people exactly what they want at a fraction of the cost

Aside from how hassle-free it is, the appeal of getting a check that you can spend on anything - rather than snippets off your grocery bills here and there - is not to be underestimated, even though the overall savings might be the same, he says.

“Our customers really like accumulating credits and then cashing out and spending the money on a meal out or a birthday gift.

“And our CPG partners love it because instead of spraying and praying with all those coupons to print and distribute, they can give people exactly what they want at a fraction of the cost. They are thrilled with our performance, and we’re just ecstatic about our progress on all fronts.”

The more you use it, meanwhile, the smarter it gets, and the more tailored the offers become based on your purchasing behavior (so if you never redeem pet food offers, you likely won’t see dog food in your list on a Thursday), says Godfrey.

Checkout51 co-founders, left to right: Andrew McGrath, Noah Godfrey and Pema Hegan

Shoppers want to save time and money 

The success of Checkout51 underscores the findings from a recent consumer survey conducted by personalized digital media company Catalina and market research firm InsightsNow, which found shoppers want simple mobile apps that save time and money.   

Click HERE for more details about the research.

Click HERE to find out more about Checkout51.  

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