How digital flyers evolved from simple price listings

Reebee's Mark Smith has seen the format used to call out categories, celebrate partner brands and tell deeper stories.


When it comes to the traditional flyer, more and more of us are coming around to wholly digital formats.

Digital flyer platform Reebee’s monthly active user base has now grown to close to two million, and which has seen 16% content growth since lockdowns, according to its director of retail partnerships, Mark Smith.

“As a result of the pandemic, we have seen significant adoption, both from the user side and the retailer and brand side in terms of the platform,” Smith says. And he says where Reebee functions at the pre-shop, intentional phase of the funnel, brands are increasingly using the platform to do different kinds of storytelling than simply scanning a flyer as a PDF or focusing on couponing.

For example, most retailers have a traditional weekly flyer, like a Food Basics with its prices on milk, eggs and butter, or a Shoppers Drug Mart with Colgate, Ritz crackers and Pepsi. Now, Smith says, there’s been a big uptick in secondary flyer publications too, which are more category-specific offerings like say baby, and tend to run for a longer period, usually around two to four weeks.

Consumer brands are increasingly turning to the app and have increased 500% since 2020, and according to Smith, home improvement, household and grocery are some of the emerging categories it’s seeing.


And marketers are using the platform as a way to launch or celebrate a brand, drive traffic to an ecomm or DTC channel, as a means of generating interest for a limited time offer, or to refresh themselves.

As an example of the latter, Reebee hosted a mid-September campaign for Wonder Bread, a landing page featuring 20 different recipes, including “quick and easy” back to school lunch ideas (pictured).

In the food space, grocery has soared 130% since 2019, and lately, Smith reports, meal kits like Good Food and Chef’s Plate have dialed it up as well.

A recent trend the platform is seeing more of is household cross promotions, and Smith cites as an example, one between McDonald’s and Keurig.

Straightforward giveaways continue to drive interest too.

“Our users absolutely love contests,” he says, and there has been what he calls a nice uptick in that.

“We’re at a crossroads, where traditional print marketing is seeing signs of being sunset,” he says. Right now, Smith claims, there remains an emotional attachment to printed flyers that retailers need to break away from.

Reebee, Smith says, is “very much aligned with shopper marketing.” Brands can use the Reebee platform as a simple top of funnel, but users can take action to get products on a shopping list too.

When it comes to its differentiator from other digital flyer services, Smith chalks it up to guiding clients through the digital flyer journey, its focus on the Canadian consumer, but also, that it’s made significant inroads in the flyer-obsessed and difficult to penetrate Quebec market.