Category Archives: Customer service and loyalty

Innovation at H-E-B!

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that H-E-B has opened a state-of-the-art technology center in East Austin, Texas, that will serve as a “hub of innovation” for its digital team and Favor delivery service.

The article quoted Jag Bath, chief digital officer of H-E-B and CEO of Favor, who said, “The center will play an essential role in keeping both Favor and H-E-B as digital leaders.”

As we have previously shared, innovation and technology have become driving forces in the food industry. As summarized in an article posted on bouncepad.com, grocery shopping as we know it is shifting. Retailers are leveraging technology to target issues consumers have struggled with for years, now offering online shopping and home-delivery along with related offerings geared toward providing more convenience for busy shoppers.

In-store experiences have also begun to mold to the modern consumer, using integrated technology solutions and secure touch-points like tablet enclosures, which help supermarkets with cross-sell services, offer personalized deals, guide shoppers around the store and increase sales.

Click here for a slide show featuring H-E-B’s new technology center.

Schnucks Leverages Tech to Improve the Shopping Experience

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that St. Louis-based Schnucks has responded to customer feedback to help shoppers save time and more easily identify foods that are aligned with their dietary preferences.

The article quotes Schnucks Vice President of Marketing Ted Schnuck, “We heard our customers saying that they’re time-starved and also hungry for more health and wellness information. These new Schnucks Rewards features will make customers’ experiences in our stores more convenient and take the guesswork out of nutritional planning by placing wellness information right at their fingertips.”

The app shopping list organizes customers’ lists according to the layout of their designated Schnucks store and also makes it easier to identify pricing information. In addition, the wellness guide enables customers to see nutritional information and labels (i.e., heart smart or gluten-free, etc.), and indicates which products have been approved by various USDA programs.

Read the full article…

Publix Adds Telehealth Stations to Florida Stores

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that Publix Super Markets Inc. plans to open three telehealth stations inside Publix stores in St. Johns County and a Publix Pharmacy at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine Florida.

According to the article, the telehealth stations will be housed in a private room where patients can speak directly with a doctor via video-conferencing. The physician will be able to direct patients to use on-site diagnostic tools such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and high-definition cameras, and to make a diagnosis or write any necessary prescriptions. Publix Pharmacy support staff also will be on hand to assist patients.

The chain has partnered with Flagler Health+, a Florida-based health network, to provide these and related retail pharmacy and primary care services.

Read the full article…

Best Supermarkets in 2019?

A recent article published by msn.com rated America’s “best” supermarkets.

With more than 66,000 supermarkets and other grocery stores in the U.S according to the U.S. Census, competition between chains has never been more fierce, the article said.

For the purposes of this list, supermarkets were defined as brick-and-mortar grocers, grocery stores, membership-only warehouse clubs, and nationwide department store retailers that have supermarkets within their retail locations. In addition, only those supermarkets with outposts in multiple states and more than five locations total were considered.

Judgments were made according to the following criteria:

Stock: A wide range of brands and offerings, including organic, locally sourced, artisanal, local favorites, international foods, and private label.

Services/Departments: Departments, including butcher, deli, bakery, and pharmacy.

Innovation: Delivery options, mobile apps, and staying on top of the latest trends.

Customer Service: Efficient checkout and self-checkout, easy returns/exchanges, loyalty programs, and personal touches like baggers who take groceries to the car.

Appearance and cleanliness: Brightly lit displays, tidy shelves, clutter-free aisles, and scuff-free floors.

Contribution to the community: Creating local jobs, working with local farmers and suppliers, and helping the less fortunate.

The top ten selections on msn’s list were:

  • Publix
  • Wegmans
  • Aldi
  • Likl
  • Trader Joes
  • Whole Foods
  • Harris Teeter (branch of Kroger)
  • Costco
  • Super Target
  • Kroger
  • Kroger Engaging People & Eliminating Process Waste

    Kroger engages with its customers and associates to create better, emotionally uplifting experiences with its brands, an article published by their technology partner Pivotal states.

    As you may know, the Kroger Company operates a personalized online ordering and in-store pickup system, a data analytics business, pharmacies, and convenience stores. They also believe in building strong local ties and brand loyalty with customers through delivering a consistently better customer experience, and through being involved in improving both their work processes and their communities. For example, the company is on a mission to end hunger in its communities; they are also on an ongoing mission to eliminate waste across its company by 2025—and leveraging technology, Pivotal says, is a big part of the plan.

    It’s not surprising that a customer base becomes more engaged and loyal when their shopping experience is consistently positive; and it’s not surprising that a workforce becomes more engaged and provides better service when they have an active voice in improving their work processes and, as are a result, are part of a more productive and successful team.

    Sounds like a great “recipe” for success… and is also well-aligned with our concept of “engagement around the work.”

    Walmart Setting the Pace for Online Grocery?

    Our previous post indicated that Amazon was the clear leader in online grocery shopping. However, a recent SupermarketNews article said that “Walmart’s heavy investment in e-commerce is paying off, and the retail giant could top Amazon in online grocery market share by the end of this year.”

    The data was based on a Deutsche Bank Securities report, which said Walmart  had been shifting focus and growth strategies in the direction of e-commerce, and that the chain has plans to bring online grocery delivery to 100 metropolitan areas — covering 40% of U.S. households — by the end of 2018 through its own services and third-party providers.

    Read the full article…

    Amazon Leader in Online Grocery Shopping

    A recent SupermarketNews article states that Amazon has maintained a dominant position in online grocery retail.

    The piece referenced a Brick Meets Click’s May 2018 consumer survey, which found that Amazon captured 30% of U.S. online grocery spending.

    The data also showed supermarkets can still grow their online market share, noting that shoppers still visit brick-and-mortar locations more frequently than they place online orders.

    The study polled 4,855 adults who do grocery shopping for the household.

    Read the full article…

    Better Supermarket Customer Service Yields Greater Revenue & Loyalty

    A recent Progressive Grocer’s article shared data from a new report from by KPMG LLP,  which found that companies providing “the best personal, individualized experiences to customers” see higher revenue growth and improved brand standing and loyalty.

    The “2018 U.S. Customer Experience Excellence Analysis” also ranked the top consumer “champion” brands according to customer experience delivered.

    Among those that consumers ranked highest for customer service delivery were:

    • H-E-B
    • Publix
    • Wegmans
    • Amazon
    • Hy-Vee

    Read the full article… 

     

    On-line Food Retail Continues to Gain Momentum

    A recent SupermarketNews article reported that Target will begin offering same-day delivery to customers in three metro areas—Boston, Miami and Minneapolis—starting Feb. 1.

    The move comes following the retailer’s December acquisition of Shipt, the article said.

    The article went on to say that online retail is picking up speed at an even faster rate than previously thought, and that both Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen data suggest 70% of consumers will shop for groceries online by 2024.

    The trend toward on-line shopping is a strong one for sure, but supermarkets by-and-large have significantly improved the level of customer service and the in-store shopping experience.

    The question is, how can they combine the two “experiences” to build stronger levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty?

    Read the full article…

    Sam Walton & the 5th “P”

    In a recent article published by the International Speaker’s Bureau, author Michael Berghdahl referenced Sam Walton’s retail success, noting that Walton intuitively knew that retail marketing is all about the “4-P’s,” which are having the right products, price, placement, and promotion.

    However, the article goes on to say that Sam Walton knew the “4 P’s” were not enough; that he was not satisfied to simply apply traditional methods, but rather always out to do more… to try new ideas.

    “You might say he [Sam Walton] embraced change like a welcomed friend,” Berghahl wrote. “Never complacent, he sought ways to improve every aspect of the Walmart success formula each and every day.”

    As part of this approach to continuous improvement, Walton figured out the key to creating a sustainable competitive advantage in the retail marketplace was by adding a “5th P” to his success formula: PEOPLE. Success required fully-engaged people working together as a high performing team, and serving his customers.

    This perspective is consistent with the latest research on the critical importance and value of an engaged workforce.

    But beware! Traditional efforts to engage employees have not been fruitful!!  These unsuccessful attempts have been haphazard at best, and have largely focused on trying to make employees happy.  Unfortunately, research and experience has proved that happy workers are not necessarily more productive workers.

    Clearly a more strategic approach to engagement is needed, yet few retailers or organizations of any type have a formalized engagement strategy.

    If you would like to create such a strategy, here are ten behaviors  you might initiate, which are based on research and experience that shows productive employees tend to be engaged employees, not the other-way-around.

    Read more…