Dollar General Rolls Out Mobile Updates

Cyndi Loza
Associate Editor, Path to Purchase Institute
Cyndi Loza profile picture

Dollar General has updated its mobile application as it continues to deploy technology that complements a shopper's in-store experience.

Among the updates, the dollar chain introduced a new shopping list app function that allows users to: 

  • add items to their list by scanning a SKU's bar code or searching for items by name, 
  • find coupons and offers for products on their list, which can be clipped when adding an item to the list, and 
  • estimate a basket's total cost.

"Our digital efforts continue to be based on the needs of our core customer," chief executive officer Todd Vasos said during a second-quarter earnings call on Aug. 29. "This [new shopping list] tool not only allows customers to build and save shopping lists, but makes it even easier for them to save money through digital coupon push notifications and comparable private brand product suggestions." 

According to a promotional page spotlighting the "new & improved DG app," the app also offers:

  • an upgraded digital coupon search that lets users scan an item's bar code to search for available coupons, as well as access hundreds of dollars in savings weekly, and
  • an enhanced weekly ad experience that lets users scroll through a list view for easier browsing, and filter deals within the list by category. 

Dollar General digital circular features and a carousel ad on have also promoted the new mobile updates. 

The retailer additionally plans to update its DG Go app, which lets users scan items as they shop and then skip the line by using a dedicated self-checkout kiosk. DG Go is currently live in more than 250 of Dollar General's 15,597 stores and will roll into the retailer's main mobile application by the end of the year. 

After launching the DG Go mobile app last year, Dollar General found that shoppers often use the app's "cart calculator" function as they shop, even if they don't skip the line at the end to checkout through one of the kiosks. Based on this insight, the retailer has made "cart calculator" available in some 12,000 of its stores, allowing users to track their spending while they shop with the DG Go app even if the store does not facilitate skipping checkout.

"With respect to our digital initiative, our efforts remain focused on deploying technology to further complement the customer in-store experience," Vasos said. "We believe digital can drive additional traffic as well as increase … basket size. In fact, our digitally engaged customers check out with average baskets twice as large as the company average."

Dollar General's core shoppers make about $40,000 a year per household, more than $20,000 below the national average, according to a CNN article published earlier this year. Due to the income gap, the retailer's main shoppers are often "behind the curve" on new technology, CNN reported Vasos said at an analyst conference last year. The company's core patrons were slower to use smartphones, for example, than wealthier Americans. However, smartphones are ubiquitous now, and about 85% of Dollar General's customers use one, in line with the national average, CNN reported. "It's taken her a little longer to get there, but she got there," Vasos said.

For more on Dollar General's mobile strategy, visit the retailer's profile on