Category Archives: Supermarket marketing

Insight Into Shelf-side Decision Making?

A recent article published by advancingretail.org shared some interesting information about understanding shopper behavior at the shelf.

“Understanding true shopper behavior in the store has become the latest battlefield in the fast moving consumer goods industry,” the article states.

Citing studies that show an estimated 76% of purchase decisions are made in the store, the article goes on to suggest that adding even a single product to a small percentage of shopping trips could equate to significant increases in sales revenue.

Wondering if there’s a way to accomplish this?

According to the article, Shopperception, a company with locations in Delaware and Buenos Aires, offers a platform that is able to “digitize shopper behavior in much the same way marketers are able to understand shoppers’ behavior online.”

Apparently their platform uses three-dimensional sensors combined with sophisticated algorithms to generate the data.

Assuming the decision-making that will be based on the consumer preferences translated by this data is combined with high levels of customer service, could this be a win-win opportunity for shoppers and supermarkets alike?

The “Customer of One” Approach to Supermarket Marketing

In a recent article posted on progressivegrocer.com, Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO of Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) shared some interesting perspective on current marketing trends used in supermarkets and other sectors of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.

Comparing traditional marketing practices and costs with the newer “customer of one” approach, Hawkins paints an intriguing picture of how supermarkets, manufacturers (brands), and consumers might simultaneously enjoy the benefits of leveraging today’s technology.

“Let’s imagine you are a brand manufacturer and you have just one customer to focus on; let’s call him Joe,” he writes.

“You would want to learn all you could about Joe, but most importantly, you would want to know how often he purchases from your product category and your share of his category business. You would also want to understand Joe’s brand loyalty and discount propensity.

“Armed with this knowledge, you would then want to promote to Joe just before he’s due to make his next category purchase, aligning brand promotion activity to Joe’s purchasing cycle, ideally communicating the right offer (knowing Joe’s discount propensity) at the right time (easy to do in today’s digital world), and in the right place (including in the store as he’s approaching the category).

Over time, you would want to grow Joe’s value to your brand by increasing his purchase frequency, up-selling and cross-selling into larger package sizes, multiple units, and related products.”

The “customer of one” method enables the brand as well as the supermarket to enjoy more regular patronage and sales revenue while spending less of their marketing budget, while the customer enjoys the benefit of shopping with less effort and at lower cost.

And, as noted in various other posts, it seems the trend toward customer-driven decision-making continues…

Supermarket “Personality!”

A recent discussion by a group of grocery executives focused on some big changes in the marketing and customer loyalty areas.

“When a customer visits your business, you’re not just selling the items on the shelf…,” says author .

“But rather the entire in-store experience, so make that experience exciting! Engage with your customers from the moment they walk through your doors.”

In a recent American Express Open article, Beightol listed a number of best practices for generating customer loyalty and engagement, which include:

  • Extend the relationship beyond the transaction through the use of social media
  • Make prudent use of “personalized” email messages promoting limited-time special offers or products of interest
  • Target lapsed customers through personalized email campaigns that highlight what’s different about your store
  • Send push notifications to loyalty program members
  • Recognize it is a consumer-driven world, and it is important to keep up! Refusing to innovate can be annoying to customers, which may prompt them to visit a more contemporary and convenient competitor next time around

“The goal should be to turn every customer into a loyal one,” says Beightol.

“How do you do that? Show the personality behind your brand!”

Interesting Perspectives from Food Marketing Summit

A recent discussion by grocery executives on LinkedIn focused on key “take-aways” from the 8th Annual Food Marketing Summit in California, which included:

  • The new world of social media means the creation of new things for marketers to deal with such as Brand Jacking, Comment Bombing and Twitter Jacking to name a few. As an interesting aside, it was noted that more words will be posted on Twitter in the next 2 – 3 years than all the words written in books already in print!
  • The average shopper only spends 5 seconds shopping a category. Shocking news considering how much information most food marketers think that their package is communicating…
  • Although online food and beverage sales are still extremely low as a total percent of sales, the opportunities ahead in food industry for eCommerce are enormous.
  • Consumer emotions are the key drivers of brand choice

Top 2016 Supermarket Trends

Interactions, provider of retail service and experiential marketing for retailers and brands, made the following predictions in a recent ProgressiveGrocer.com article:

1. Improved Transparency and Distribution: There will be “less bad, more good,” meaning more products will be introduced with less sugar, less salt,  fewer words you can’t pronounce, and so on.

2. Closing the Digital Divide: The digital shift in retail will continue, leaving brick-and-mortar retailers needing to find better ways to compete effectively in the digital space.

3. Retailers Take More Control of Shelves: Decisions about which items to carry and where to place items on shelves will be more driven by analytics than by brand bias.

Read the full article…

Are Supermarkets Focused on “Core” Customers?

A recent article in SupermarketNews cited a study from The CMO Club and IBM, which showed that Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are finally shifting resources from customer acquisition to retention and loyalty.

The benefits of retention have been well documented over the years, says author Simon Uwins, former CMO of Tesco. “With customers today so easily able to share their opinions, it’s become even more essential for every brand to look after its core customers.”

This is just as true for supermarkets the article suggests, indicating that 60%-70% of turnover is typically accounted for by only 20% of customers. And the growing number of new or revamped loyalty programs does indeed suggest a renewed focus on retention.

However, looking after core customers is more than just a loyalty program. Among the questions management might ask to determine if their company or supermarket is focused on their core customers:

  1. How well do we know our core customers?
  2. How well do we understand them?
  3. Do we make them feel appreciated?

Engaging Customers

A number of industry experts agree, supermarkets must become more innovative in their efforts to continually improve customer service and marketing.

For example, in a recent Supermarket News article, author Margaux Drake, a living well expert for a large supermarket chain and a WOTV 4 Women’s (ABC) Healthy Eats crew member, suggests taking care of customers while they travel by offering tips along with a dedicated display of healthy food and drink options that will pass through security and fit into carry-ons.

“With a bit of extra planning,” Drake explains, “your store can offer a more environmentally conscious journey too, so Mother Nature will be smiling as well.”

Among her top tips:

  1. Reusable stainless containers: They are durable, easy to clean and will last forever. When your customer arrives at their destination, they can give them a scrub and use them to store good-for-you snacks for the hotel room, beach or a day of sightseeing.
  2. Berries and wedges of kiwi offer bite size portions of low sugar deliciousness without the mess. The seeds and skin of the kiwi fruit are edible, eating the skin will only increase vitamin and fiber intake.
     
  3. Nuts… what could be easier to pack than raw nuts? No prep required, and the bit of fat in nuts will help ward off hunger as well.

Similarly, Supermarket Guru in a recent discussion Phil Lempert suggests retailers must find more creative ways to engage shoppers. His top three suggestions:

  1. Sample foods
  2. Cooking demonstrations
     
  3. Wine tasting

Maybe you have some creative ideas on how supermarkets might leverage creative thinking and innovation to engage their customers?

Comment…

Do You Eat With Your Eyes First?

foodBased on information recently shared by adweek.com, marketers hope they can make consumers hungry for their products via Instagram and similar media.

And while it’s not just food brands getting in on the action,  it seems food tends to act as a great messaging medium, as other retailers like Expedia and Target are also infusing tasty treats into their pictures.

“Food is an alluring part of advertising because it’s something that everyone participates in daily, and it’s easy to make meals look good,” explained Tim Hwang, head of special initiatives for photo hosting service Imgur.

“Instagram has solidified the ‘you eat with your eyes first’ mantra,” added Irene Kim, a popular Instagram user who has posted food pics for Whole Foods in Berkeley.

So, when it comes to being influenced by supermarket advertising, might “our eyes really be bigger than our stomachs?”

Nowhere to Hide: “Beacons” are How You Might Be “Found” in the Aisles!

In Time Magazine’s March issue, a Tech Briefing explained how retailers, such as supermarkets, can tempt shoppers with digital coupons based on each shopper’s location within a store.

The article explains that the technology is already built-in to certain smart phones in the form of a small transmitter called a “beacon.”

By using Bluetooth technology, “handsets can pinpoint their [shopper’s] position to within as little as 2 cm by receiving signals from the beacons. ”

Then the retailer can send special offers to the customer’s cell phone or simply monitor a shopper’s movements. Of course “they” won’t be able to see you unless you’ve installed their apps and granted them access… but for many, Big Brother is another step closer!

 

Will Alibaba Soon Be Selling Groceries?

Given the recent amount of media-hype given to Alibaba, I thought it only right that we acknowledge their claim that they will soon become the world’s largest retail organization; and also pose the question as to whether or not they will further drive demand for on-line grocery shopping?

Supermarket News recently referenced an article on the subject published by Forbes.

“We want to be bigger than Walmart,” said Jack Ma, the founder and driving force of Alibaba Group, to CNBC, as his company’s shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Not only does Ma’s e-commerce giant want to surpass Walmart, it also thinks it will do so soon. In comments reported last October, Jonathan Lu, Alibaba’s chief executive, predicted the company will overtake Walmart to become the world’s largest retail network by 2016.

Alibaba will reach transaction volume of $490 billion by that year, Lu predicted.

It will be interesting to watch…

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