When I attended yesterday’s VIP Blogger Event, I had the opportunity to learn in-depth about Safeway’s new savings program, Just4U. We watched a presentation from Tamara Pattison, Director of Loyalty Product Management and were able to chat with Mir Aamir, President of Customer Loyalty and Digital Technologies, so it was a rare chance to speak directly with the creators of this program, ask them questions, and share our feedback. I have a ton of information to share with you, so I’m going to break it down point-by-point.
What is Just4U? Just4U is a new digital savings program which Safeway is introducing. This program will allow you to use the Safeway website to load e-coupons and special offers to your club card to be redeemed at checkout. Just4U also allows access to a variety of organizational tools that will allow you to look up prices and make lists.
Just4U is a supplement to existing programs, not a replacement. Safeway will still offer its club card prices, accept paper coupons, offer catalinas, and provide weekly circulars – Just4U is not meant to replace anything, but rather provide additional savings on top of existing programs.
What Does Just4U offer?
Just4U is an all-digital program, so by logging on to the Safeway website, you will be able to access the following feature:
- e-Coupons: Just4U will provide a centralized hub of all e-Coupons available on partner websites from around the web, such as Cellfire. You will be able to add these e-Coupons to your club card with the click of a button. As Just4U is rolled out nationwide, Safeway will become the exclusive access point for these e-Coupons; so in the future, instead of going to Cellfire’s website to load coupons to your club card, you’ll be going to Safeway’s website to load those Cellfire offers. This is to eliminate confusion of consumers attempting to load the same coupon on two different websites. They also hope that by offering e-Coupons from partner sites around the web, it will streamline the process by allowing you to visit one website for those offers instead of multiple. e-Coupons can be displayed by order of relevance (Which ones match your shopping history the closest) or by category.
- Personalized Offers: These are special offers which Safeway will customize based on your purchasing history. Some of these may be offers for totally free products, while others are “Price Point Offers”, which are essentially special club card prices that are available only to you. For example, when I used my account for the first time yesterday, I had a price point offer for a 24-pack of Safeway Softly Bath Tissue for $8.99. The shelf price on this was $10.99, so my personalized price saved me $2.00. Each customer will have different personalized offers in their account based on their purchasing history and zip code. You must log in to your Just4U account to see which offers are available to you and you must be sure to add the offers you are interested in to your club card before you go shopping. This is done by simply clicking the “Add” button.
- Your Club Specials: This section of the website will allow you to look up what club card specials are available in your store. This will allow you to do some price-checking online for items that may not be listed in the weekly circular. This will be filtered by your purchasing history.
- Create a Shopping List: You can print out a list of all the Just4U offers added to your club card to keep track of what’s on there, and add your own items as well. You will also be able to use a mobile app to create a custom shopping list – which lead us to:
- Safeway Just4U Mobile App: This app brings Just4U functionality to smartphones, so that iPhone and Android users can navigate their account, add offers, and create a shopping list from their phone. During the presentation, it was revealed that at some point in the future they plan to add a function where your list could be sorted by aisle according to your store’s layout in order to maximize efficiency – so there are a lot of developments in the works to continue improving the Just4U program and mobile app and offer more tools to save customers time.
Just4U was introduced in the Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana markets yesterday, May 16th. This program will be rolled out nationwide by mid-August, and will also be available at Safeway affiliates such as Von’s.
How do you register for Just4U? Simply visit Safeway.com, click on the “Just4U” tab, and click on “Register now”. You’ll be prompted to input some basic information, such as your email address and club card number. You will then be able to log into the Just4U landing page and see what offers are available to you. By registering, you will automatically receive an offer for free eggs!
Just like Safeway’s other sale cycles, Just4U personalized deals will be updated every Wednesday. e-Coupons will be updated as new ones become available throughout the week, so for optimal deals, you’ll want to check your account prior to shopping.
Your phone number is important – make sure you have the right one tied to your account. If you’re not sure which phone number is associated with your account, it’s important to find out and make sure that all your information – especially your zip code – is accurate and current. If you have any issues, you can call Safeway customer service at 1-877-723-3929 and they can get everything up-to-date. For example, my club card was a bit of a mess because I had no idea which phone number (Landline or cell phone) was attached to it, and I lost my physical club card recently. When I tried to punch in my phone number, it would bring up my dad’s club card. When I spoke with Safeway customer service, I found out what had been causing the confusion. You see, I inherited my house after my mom passed away in 2003, and the primary phone number I use is the same landline number which has been in use by my family for 20 years. So when Safeway pulled up my account, they found that my parents were still listed in their files as having club cards with that number. The mystery has been solved! Safeway removed those club cards from my account and input my correct phone number. They also linked Jai’s club card with mine, so as far as I understood it, we should accumulate savings on the same account now.
And since your phone number is important – don’t let others use it! Ever been in the store without your club card, and punched in a friend’s phone number instead? Well, you won’t want to do that anymore. Since offers are now customized specifically to you, if another person uses your phone number, they will get your deals – many of which are one-time use only. This is also why it’s important to update your information if your phone number changes.
You may stack paper coupons with personalized Just4U price point offers. For example, let’s say that Tide detergent is on a club card special for $8.99 at your store. When you log into your Just4U account, you see a personalized offer that makes Tide detergent available to you for $5.99. You also have a paper manufacturer’s coupon in your binder for $1 off. You could then add the personalized price to your club card AND use your coupon to make your final cost $4.99. You can think of personalized price points as a sort of club card special that is only available to you. Since they work just like club card prices, you can definitely use coupons with them. On the flip side, personalized offers for free items CANNOT be stacked with other coupons, as these are essentially a digital Safeway store coupon versus a personalized club card price.
Just4U e-Coupons cannot be stacked with paper coupons. That is because these are digital manufacturer’s coupons, and you cannot use a manufacturer’s e-coupon with a manufacturer’s paper coupon.
What happens if I forget that I have an e-coupon on my card and use a paper coupon for the same item? If you have an e-coupon and a paper coupon for the same dollar amount off the same item, then the cashier will accept the paper coupon and the e-coupon will be left on your card for future use. If you have an e-coupon and a paper coupon for different dollar amounts off the same item, the system will accept whichever coupon will give you the largest discount. So in theory, if you load a $1.00/1 Tide coupon to your club card, forget about it, and then try to redeem a paper coupon for .50/1 tide, the register should beep and prompt the cashier to hand you back the paper coupon as the system should automatically take off the e-coupon with the higher value.
No computer? No problem. Every Safeway store is going to be equipped with a computer that patrons may use to set up and access their Just4U account. This way, customers who do not own a computer can still take advantage of Just4U. We heard of multiple instances where customers were assisted by Safeway employees in creating an email account and registering for Just4U in-store; those customers then come in every week, use Safeway’s computer to check out the Just4U offers and load them on to their card, and then go on to do their shopping.
Here is a sheet of frequently asked questions which we received at the event – click on the thumbnail to view it full size.
Alright, so we’ve gotten the program facts on how Just4U works. So what does Super Coupon Girl think of the program, its practical application, and its savings potential?
I must admit that I was a little trepidatious of this new program before I had any details on it, as I was concerned that other programs would be phased out and replaced with this. However, I think one of the most important things to note about this program is that it does not replace anything – it is a compliment to all existing savings programs. I remember when the Safeway Club Card was introduced years ago, and everyone I knew was concerned that they would stop accepting coupons in favor of club card prices. But as we know now, club card prices and coupons are meant to be used together – and now, Just4U can be combined with these programs for additional savings.
Based on what I have learned, I’m now extremely happy about Just4U as it provides me with one more tool in my coupon arsenal for savings. Just4U will offer me special savings by providing me with free offers and lower prices on select items. I can then combine those price point deals with coupons for further savings. I’m also really excited to check out the “Your Club Card Specials” section – it’s not available on my account at the moment (The program only launched yesterday, so it’s a temporary glitch), but from what I learned at the event, I will be able to access a price list for current club card specials in my local store. This is really handy to me, as I’ve actually been using the “Grocery Delivery” section of the Safeway website for years as a price reference. I like to plan deals and my budget by checking prices online, as it saves me time tromping through the store; so I think this will be another great tool for helping me plan my shopping trips at Safeway.
There’s just no downside that I can see thus far to this program, judging by what I’ve learned and my brief experience with it. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a full recap of my shopping trip during this event so you can see Just4U in action and get a little more detail on how it worked for me in-store, how it rang up on my receipt, and so on. And of course, I will continue to update you as I learn more about it. Bottom line: If you’re a major coupon user like me, you’ll have another way of snagging deals and augmenting your savings. On the flip side, if you’re busy and you don’t want to spend any time clipping coupons, you can simply load the website, click a few buttons, and save money on things you were going to buy anyway. The only critique I can think of so far is that the mobile shopping app is not compatible with first-generation iPhones – Apple only allows first generation users to update to OS 3.1, so I’ve found that my iPhone is not compatible with a lot of new apps.
Other Coupon Policy Information/Notes:
Double coupons: If you live in one of the few Oregon markets where Safeway doubles coupons (Like me), you’ll be glad to know that they do not have any plans to discontinue it. However, they are unlikely to roll it out to areas that do not have it already. Previously, you could double 4 coupons per transaction; in recent times, this was changed to 4 per household per week. We were told that it is unlikely to be changed back to 4 per transaction. Honestly, I don’t know how changing the wording to “4 per household per week” will help cut down on “Unethical couponing”, because it’s practically impossible to enforce, so those who would do things unethically will continue to do so while those who are honest and honor this policy, such as myself and my readers, will have our savings reduced. Naturally, there are a lot of factors that go into deciding coupon policy, so as always I like to point out what I determine in my research and experience in order to educate my readers as well as provide feedback to the stores.
FoodDay Coupon Schedule: For Oregonians wondering when to check their paper for the coveted Safeway FoodDay coupon, those should be available on the first Tuesday of each month.
Other notes: During this event, Safeway provided us with lunch, took us shopping, and provided us with gift bags to say “Thank you” for our time. I very much enjoyed meeting everyone at Safeway and appreciate their kindness. However, you should know that I was not asked or obligated to write nice things. I always look to coupons with a critical eye, since my aim is simply to find the best ways to save money. I’ve always been analytical in my opinions of Safeway, from what I like to what I don’t like; this recap details my genuine opinions, as always.
OK, readers: What are your questions/comments on this new program? Feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will answer anything that I may have neglected to cover here; I can also check with my contacts at Safeway regarding any questions or issues that arise with the program.