Replacing Print with Digital Flyers


200%+ sales 

year over year


50% reduction 

in marketing costs
“This campaign was an important step for us at Rona, and told us that we were doing the right things in shifting to more digital, and it gave us even more fuel to accelerate our shift” 
Claire Bara, VP Marketing Rona

Shifting trends in Canadian consumer behaviour 

Canadians are spending more and more time online, and Rona, a leading Canadian Home and Garden retailer, knew it needed to be where its consumers are. In 2014 Rona began shifting marketing activities toward digital; however, the print flyer was still a major component of Rona’s marketing mix.


Rona worked with Flipp to test digital

In February 2016, Rona worked with Flipp on the ultimate test of digital: for one key week in February, Rona would not print a flyer, and would create and distribute a digital flyer instead. All of the promotional offers would be delivered to consumers exclusively through digital, and Rona would measure the impact on store sales. Claire Bara, VP of Marketing at Rona, felt that the definitive test was needed in order to truly prove the effectiveness of digital, and she also felt that the organization was ready to execute a drastic digital test.


 “If you want to be leading as a retailer, you can do different activities at a different scale, but we as a company were mature enough to dare to do one week without a printed flyer.” 

Claire Bara, VP Marketing Rona 

Rona chose to work with Flipp as the digital flyer platform because of Flipp’s vast reach in the digital space, and the Flipp team’s partnership approach in helping retailers navigate the shift from print to digital. Rona had also developed a strong ecosystem of digital channels throughout its digital shift, which were all used through the campaign to deliver offers to consumers.



“We like to work with only the best at Rona, and Flipp is leading the way in terms of reach, innovation, presence, and leadership for digital flyers. Flipp was already a partner, and we knew the team and had built trust and a relationship.”

Claire Bara, VP Marketing Rona 

Since Flipp’s model is pay-per-read, Rona ensured that there was no budget limit for Flipp, allowing consumers to view the digital flyer for the full week.


Redesigning the flyer for digital

This innovative approach was carefully executed by the marketing team at Rona with the help of the Flipp team. Special considerations were taken for the fact that the flyer layout needed to change to suit a digital format. The number and order of pages were modified from the traditional print format to optimize the digital experience, creating a rich, interactive flyer for digital.


“Even though Rona has been doing printed flyers for the last 75 years, we learned from A to Z how to build an efficient flyer for digital, because you don’t design a digital flyer the same way you design a printed flyer. With Flipp and the support and knowledge of the team, we reinvented and redesigned our flyer. The content and experience was much more interesting and rich in the exclusively online flyer. For instance, we integrated “How To” videos that were linked to specific products, and we also personalized the flyer”

Claire Bara, VP Marketing Rona 


Distributing digital flyers with Flipp also allowed Rona to collect and use merchandising and marketing data. This is real time consumer insight is a limitation for traditional print flyers.

Sales Results

The results were, in Claire Bara’s words, “simply amazing”. Sales generated by the digital flyer were double the sales of the same week in 2015, where only a print flyer was distributed. In the print system, retailers can only understand how many flyers are delivered, but Flipp tracks flyer reads, which allowed Rona to understand how many consumers actually read the flyer. Additionally, marketing costs for the digital week were half of Rona’s typical costs for generating a printed flyer, making for a drastically higher ROI with digital.


“This was a milestone at the company, because even though we have been increasing our digital presence, there were some skeptics, and this week killed that skepticism.”

Claire Bara, VP Marketing Rona 


Planning for the future

Rona plans to continue its strategy of pushing into the digital sphere, now with an invigorated enthusiasm. Claire Bara feels that, with Flipp, they are also reaching a different consumer; one that is no longer using print. Rona will continue to utilize the ecosystem of digital channels and the flyer will remain a key component.


“The flyer is a very important part of the marketing mix. The flyer has remained an important part of our promotional activities, but what has changed is the way we deliver those promotional activities.”

Claire Bara, VP Marketing Rona 



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