The grocery industry and consumers’ path to purchase have changed dramatically in the past decade. Gone are the days of a single weekly trip to your local supermarket, as U.S. households now spread shopping trips out between a mix of membership clubs specialty grocers like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, traditional grocers like Kroger and Publix, and big box retailers like Meijer Supercenters, Target, and Wal-Mart. Add in the fact that frequent shoppers use a multitude of new, real-time digital tools to get the best deals wherever possible, the challenge of being in grocery marketing has never been more demanding. For grocers, the good news is that the marketing landscape has now evolved to their advantage. With the advent of digital media and multi-channel marketing programs, the biggest game-changer is now mobile marketing.
Retailers such as Meijer Supercenters and Kroger have significantly incorporated mobile into their customer communications and loyalty programs, and they have experienced excellent customer participation and high program ROI. Mobile marketing is a cost efficient, personalized addition to traditional marketing, such as print media, email, free standing insert (FSI), and direct mail marketing campaigns. Mobile’s most notable impact is on coupons, where 62% percent of consumers said they are now redeeming grocery and consumer retail goods-based coupons via mobile.
Mobile is unique as it requires a contact database of customers that have opted in to participate. By promoting mobile participation through text messaging, QR codes, mobile coupons, and in-store events, grocer marketers can drive more in-store traffic.
Mobile is a dynamic channel where a promotional campaign can be conceived and launched in minutes, not days or weeks like print and direct mail. This allows marketers to respond to their organizations’ unique demands and influence both store traffic and in-store purchase behavior, while leveraging the immediacy and location-based connectivity of a customer’s mobile phone.
Text is still more popular and reaches more users than push notifications within smartphone applications, offering a nearly universally-utilized channel with which to contact and influence consumers. A recent study by RadiumOne reports that 42% of consumers prefer text-based coupons over bar code scanning and push notifications.
Finally, mobile offers a great way to create a positive customer experience with proactive communications, such as recall notices, delivery notifications, and holiday store hours. Extending customer service beyond the walls of a store not only differentiates grocers, but creates a sense of care and convenience with shoppers that strengthen their loyalty.
As you shop the marketing aisles for ideas and decide from among the many campaign choices available, proceed to “check out” how mobile marketing can fill your cart. For grocers seeking to evolve to the next level of customer connectivity and receptivity, extend promotional reach, build greater engagement and loyalty among customers, and breathe new life into traditional marketing campaigns, mobile offers an abundance of choices.