FORT LEE, Va. — For commissary shoppers such as Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Stuart M. Allison, the Defense Commissary Agency website is a GPS to even greater savings opportunities.
“My wife and I don’t step foot into a commissary until we’ve first gone on commissaries.com to check out what promotions, coupons and other discounts are available,” said Allison, the senior enlisted advisor to the DeCA director. He combines his web surfing with following the commissary on Facebook and Twitter. “The more I know before I enter the store, the more I maximize my benefit.”
Allison’s particular pre-shopping regimen involves logging on to the website on Mondays to the Exclusive Savings section under the Sales and Events page for a preview of special offers and promotions from DeCA’s industry partners. He also stays alert for the new sales promotional packages available every two weeks.
More and more commissary patrons like Allison are using the website to help them maximize their savings before they shop. Website visitors can access Commissary Rewards Card digital coupons, the sales flyer and the “Savings Aisle” for promotional prices and more. Commissaries worldwide now have in-store Wi-Fi services to help patrons access the agency’s Internet resources while they shop.
Based on commissaries.com analytics data as of Feb. 28, there was a monthly average of 300,000 visits to the website so far in fiscal 2017 alone. The top five viewed pages in order were the home page, the Commissary Rewards Card page, the Savings Aisle, the Store Locator page and Sales & Events. More than 60 percent of the visits to commissaries.com were done from a smartphone or tablet.
Here are some website highlights accessible from the menu bar at the top of the homepage:
• Patrons can plan shopping trips before they leave home by checking store hours, sale dates and special events on their store information page. Shoppers can also obtain local store news, telephone numbers, email addresses and directions to their commissary.
• The Sales and Events page features the commissary sales flyer. Authorized shoppers can log in to see the biweekly sales flyer with discounted products; every two weeks it reflects products as they go on and off sale. The flyer also contains the “Thinking Outside the Box” recipe that uses products on sale as ingredients for a healthy meal. The page also contains a link to coupons, lists of new products and additional discounts from commissary vendors.
• The Savings Aisle allows visitors to see every product on sale by store location after they confirm their shopping privileges.
Commissary Gift Cards allow individuals and organizations to give the gift of groceries to authorized patrons. They’re purchased in denominations of $25 or $50. As of Feb. 26 and since 2011, DeCA has sold nearly 750,000 cards worth nearly $26 million – more than $23 million have been redeemed.
• Commissary Rewards Cards open the door to thousands of digital coupons redeemable at any commissary. Mobile applications for both Apple and Android platforms are available for download and allow customers to access to their account, review and select coupons, and find store information such as hours of operation and phone numbers. As of Feb. 28, more than 1.04 million cards have been registered, 90.9 million coupons downloaded and 10.5 million digital coupons redeemed for $11.6 million in coupon savings.
• Case Lot sales, the Healthy Lifestyle Festival and Guard/Reserve On-site sales. Patrons should check individual commissary schedules for these special events.
• Commissary Connection. Stay connected with the latest news, hot links to additional savings, shopping sprees, contests, commissary promotions, events and more.
Healthy Living tab:
DeCA supports Defense Department initiatives to educate the military community about health and nutrition. Visitors to this page can get information on healthy habits, nutrition, recipe suggestions, food safety and more. Information about how to use the agency’s new Nutrition Guide Program is also featured.
Customer Service tab:
Here, patrons can access Frequently Asked Questions that cover everything from “Advertising Prices” to the “Surcharge”; voice their concerns, compliments or suggestions by filling out a Customer Comment form; or inquire about doing business with DeCA.
The website also gives patrons access to DeCA’s social media platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest. Regular visits to these sites keep patrons tuned in to emerging information on everything connected to their commissary benefit – sales flyers, food safety notices and more.
Later this summer, commissaries.com will relaunch with a new look and enhanced features and access to the resources patrons need to get the most from their commissary benefit.
“As a patron I appreciate what the commissary offers with the everyday savings on the groceries and household products my family needs,” Allison said. “But, if you take just a little time to use your smartphone, tablet or other device to hit the website before you shop, you will get much, much more for your benefit.”