2014 and 2015 were good years for Walmart shoppers who wanted to match Walmart prices with competitors as the retailer started and later updated the Savings Catcher program to help with savings process. People loved it and really worked hard on finding cheaper prices and getting them matched while shopping at Walmart. Over 80,000 grocery items were eligible for such deal as well as the later added general merchandise categories. Private brads were excluded, but everything else applied.
In 2017 Walmart made another update where the savings were automatically added to consumers’ eGift cards whenever those savings occurred. This was one extra step towards convenience with no need to collect the physical money each time after shopping. At the same time shoppers lost an option to redeem that money through BlueBird card, which allowed them to shop at other retailers. No surprise here, as Walmart is eager not to share customers with anybody else.
- $10 OFF First Purchase of $50+
- Free Delivery on Grocery Order of $50+
- 80% OFF Select Rollbacks
As time went on, Walmart came up with more ways to reduce the savings to be had from competitor price matching – customers couldn’t do that at the register starting in 2017. Using Savings Catcher app was the only way to still get those discounts. Finally, at the end of 2017 the ad-matching program was closed all together. Walmart has finally had it with customers bringing the ads from discount retailers like Aldi and Trader Joe’s. The program was great for produce, but did not allow discounts on much else even when it was fully functional.
To appease unhappy customers, Walmart promised to feature the same promotions as nearby Aldi or Trader Joe’s stores, but this was going to be left up to the individual Walmart locations and managers’ discretion. This means that somewhere in Atlanta you will be able to walk into Walmart and find the same deal you just saw at your local Trader Joe’s.
Walmart hasn’t stopped implementing various changes since then. In the late 2018 it was announced that customers will no longer be able to scan their paper receipts, which meant that everybody now has to use Walmart Pay, through which email receipts can get uploaded to Savings Catcher program.
Walmart and its changes are a part of our changing retail world, where multiple ways to save exist and expand continuously.
Despite all the changes at Walmart, shoppers are consistent when it comes to savings – they want coupons and are actively searching for them. According to Valasis research, over 90% of consumers are looking for grocery coupons versus just over 60% looking for dining discounts. People also use coupons for healthcare items, travel, and prescription medication.
Over 30% of surveyed shoppers enjoy getting coupons to their mobile devices, especially millennials who are never separated from their phones. The chance to clip and use coupons is what draws most people to physical stores versus doing all the shopping online. Stores with reward programs and tailored offers rank the highest for consumer loyalty and retention.
While Walmart seems to be cutting and reducing cash back programs, they claim to be investing billions of dollars to bring cheaper and very competitively priced products for the consumers. This might be very true, but extremely hard to verify.
As of May 14th of 2019 the Savings Catcher program will be closed for good. According to Walmart, the program effectively lowered the prices on thousands of products and that’s where they should remain continuing to help save money. The money that is already in the Savings Catcher eGift cards will remain there until everything is spent. Now let’s hope Walmart will find new ways to offer savings for loyal consumers and make it visible.