Walmart Savings Catcher
I posted about this a few days ago but it’s such a cool thing that I thought it merited another post. A member of the Savings Catcher launch team reached out us to this weekend and was nice enough to answer some of my questions. Let’s review exactly what the Savings Catcher program is before we get to that.
UPDATE: I got my first Walmart Savings Catcher Rebate
What is Walmart Savings Catcher
It’s really hard to overstate how incredible this program is. If you are in one of the selected beta test markets (Atlanta GA, Charlotte NC, Dallas TX, Huntsville AL, Lexington KY, or San Diego CA) you can upload your Walmart receipts and they will check them against your local sales ads. If you paid more at Walmart than what your local stores have them on sale for, they will refund you the difference on an eGiftCard. Wow. You can see the program for yourself here.
My Interview with a Member of the Savings Catcher Launch Team
1. Where are you getting your ad information from? I assume there isn’t a master database of all weekly ads, have you contracted a company to enter the info in a database? I would love a LOT more info on exactly this process is.
The ad information is provided through an industry leader in gathering data from ads. Working with our Global eCommerce team, we have developed a system for matching the ads to items customers have purchased. We welcome feedback to help us make it better.
2. How did this idea begin? It’s absolutely brilliant but seems incredibly data intensive. Who thought of it? How was it implemented?
The idea for Savings Catcher came from our continued efforts to help our customers save money. It was a team effort to bring it to life and is an example of the way Walmart is bringing physical and digital even closer together.
3. What are you plans to increase the testing areas? I love that DFW was included in the initial list but it would seem like the goal would be for this to be nationwide.
As you’ve noted from our FAQs, we are testing Savings Catcher in several markets. This is actually something that Walmart does all the time. We frequently test new ideas in markets to learn and improve.
4. Is this scalable? Again, it just seems like a massive undertaking, data-wise. (I do price match lists for my area every week. I know how difficult it is.)
It is indeed a complex project. We will continue to test and evaluate.
5. What is your role in the project?
I’m on the marketing team that helps drive the project strategy and communication to customers. It’s really exciting to be working on something like this that brings Walmart’s mission to life: saving people money so they can live better. We focus on that every day and (hopefully) this is a great example of that commitment.
6. What does the future hold for this project specifically or Walmart in general?
We are going to win at the intersection of digital and physical, and Savings Catcher is just one example of that – this tool could lead to things like eCoupons, automated shopping list and more. We are well-positioned to innovate and lead in the tech space, and you’ll see more of this.
7. How automated is this process? Is this a computer program going over our receipts or is this an actual person comparing our receipts to the ads?
The comparison is automated.
8. Will your program also catch deals on produce and meat?
Currently it excludes store brand items, deli, bakery and weighed items like produce and meat.
First I want to thank Walmart for reaching out. I had a lot of questions rolling around in my head and he cleared up some of the confusion I had. Here’s a couple things to keep in mind.
Not every store is checked
Here’s a list of the stores they are checking in my area. (DFW) Albertsons, Aldi, Brookshires, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, HEB, Kroger, Target and Tom Thumb. While that is an incredible list, it leaves out some of the smaller stores in my area like El Rancho, Elrods, El Ahorro, Fiesta, and a few others I can think of. I’ll still need to be sure to price match those at the store.
Price Matching Produce and Meat is Tricky
Although I forgot to ask about this specifically, price matching produce and meat is always tricky. I’ll be curious to see how accurate Savings Catcher will be on these items.
UPDATE: He got back to me and I added question 8 above. As I suspected, we will still need to manually price match produce, meat, deli, and bakery items.
It’s in Beta
They are still working out the kinks so I don’t know how much faith I’d put in it yet. Don’t get me wrong, every single receipt I get from Walmart from now on will be uploaded. Heck, I might upload receipts I find blowing around in the parking lot. But I think I’ll still do my own price matching at the register until I feel comfortable with how it’s going.
Bottom line, everyone in the test markets needs to do this every time they shop. For those of you that don’t already price match on a regular basis, this will be a great way to save more money with almost no effort being put forth.