Your first mental association with the acronym IRC might be the International Rescue Committee or Internet Relay Chat – but if you’re a Walmart supplier, IRC means “Instant Redeemable Coupon.”
Some companies also call them “instantly redeemable coupons” or “instant redemption coupons,” but the concept is the same: shoppers can take the package from the shelf, pull the coupon off the package, and get their cents off right away.
The forerunner of IRC was the cents off coupon printed on the product package. Consumers would buy the product, take it home, cut out the coupon, and bring it back to get cents off of their next purchase. This type of coupon encourages repeat sales.
If you’re competing with other brands on the shelf, though, the IRC lets you encourage buyers to choose your product right away by making it a little cheaper than your competitor’s equivalent product even if it usually isn’t the least expensive option. When shoppers try your product and love it, they’ll buy it again as a planned purchase.
IRC technology can be used to add special offers (“Save $1.00 when you buy two!”), rebate details, or even multi-page booklets with recipes or a variety of coupons for different consumer personas. With their added flexibility and convenience, IRC coupons have the highest redemption rate of any coupon – and they can power in-store changes from a planned purchase to a different brand.
The key to IRC is “clean release” adhesives which keep coupons on the package till the consumer pulls them off, but allow consumers to remove the coupon without damaging the package and ending up with spilled product.
Both special printing and special equipment are required to accomplish this.