Sometimes, I unexpectedly see something and it becomes a short term fact finding mission. It’s usually something I stumble on in the morning while perusing the internet.

The other day, while checking Facebook and drinking my mug of warm water in my pajamas, I saw this go by on my newsfeed:


Now instead of thinking ‘Oh how nice of them to offer a sale on something that hardly ever goes on sale like produce’ I thought ‘Ugh, they’re gonna make me PRINT it?’ which I learned upon clicking through.

(Yeah I’m a jerk.)

I watched the comments and most people were properly grateful. A couple people asked about mobile friendly coupons and several people complained about having difficulty printing out the coupons (it required a compatible printer and browser).

I did this. I had to download some coupon driver to be able to print this out and it was kind of annoying. I did this at work because I don’t have a home printer, and I think few people do anymore with the advent of a lot of modern technology.

Even though I thought no one had printers at home, I thought I’d make this an experiment and have some data to back myself up or prove myself wrong. I asked my Facebook friends if they had a printer at home or at work or both. Here were the results of those who responded:

8 people have home based printers that were wonky/not reliable.
28 people had printers at work they didn’t seem to be adverse to using in a general way.
3 people went out of their way to say their work computer was not used for any personal purposes in their comments.
23 people who have home based printers have home offices they work remotely from or are self employed.
15 people have home based printers for seemingly personal use only.
Most everyone had multiple printers at work. (One of my Facebook friends has more printers than he does employees- ha!)

Now I got 60 people who responded… and if we took out the self employed people only 15 people had printers at home. 25% of my non self employed friends friends have printers (I believe a majority of the population isn’t).

So what am I trying to say?

If you are going to do something nice as a business, don’t require your customer to have a printer. Many of them don’t have a home printer; are restricted to personal printer use at work; or have a printer at home that is not reliable or probably out of ink.

A QR code or bar code can be stored into a smartphone and scanned on site as easy as anything. Of course this will require training of staff with how to accept these coupons but as the population using mobile phones continues to increase, it’s something we have to take into consideration as business owners and people who strive to be paperless.

This post is in no way picking on Hannaford; I am just using this as an example of how a good idea can be made better and more accessible. Because if you have a great idea, it might as well be both those things.

Check out our newest offer!