AOL launches coupon service

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AOL is taking the paper out of couponing with its Shortcuts service. Launched today, the program links online coupons to grocery store loyalty cards, making coupon redemption automatic at checkout with the scan of a loyalty card.

The first retail partner to endorse this program is The Kroger Co., which has a presence in 31 states. General Mills, Kimberly-Clark and Kraft are among the consumer brands with coupons on the service.

Shoppers set up an account using their loyalty card at http://www.shortcuts.com/ and search for offers by brand, product or category and click on grocery coupons they want to add to their card. Shoppers can review their savings on the register receipt as well as online at shortcuts.com. Users can also choose to receive e-mail alerts detailing coupons redeemed, savings to-date and the value of coupons remaining on their loyalty card.

According to CMS Research's 2006 Trend report, 81% of shoppers have at least one grocery store loyalty card, and 75% of these use the card weekly.

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