With the popularity of online purchases, you might expect online grocery shopping to follow suit. But shopping at an actual grocery store still wins out, according to a 2015 report by Nielsen.
Sixty-one percent of respondents said going to a supermarket is an enjoyable experience and 57 percent noted in-store grocery shopping as a great way to spend time with the family. These figures illustrate the long-standing value of brick-and-mortar grocers.
The value is evident, so it’s up to grocers to come up with effective promotions to attract shoppers. Here are a few strategies to try.
Don’t confuse smart pricing with lowered prices. The “everyday low pricing” (EDLP) strategy implemented by supercenters like Costco and Wal-Mart works for them because they can afford to lower the retail prices for the purpose of driving more customers to their stores. While it may seem like a solid idea for you to do the same, a study by Stanford University shows the strategy is cost-ineffective for grocery stores. By compromising on your price points, you lose more than you gain. Holding in-store promotions yielded $6.2 million more per year than EDLP did for bigger grocers.
Try these promotions instead:
Bundle pricingBundle products that can be associated together — for example, a loaf of bread bundled with cold cuts or sandwich spread. Combine products that shoppers will view as more valuable when purchased together instead of individually.
Loss leaderSlashing prices of in-demand products in the market, from cooking ingredients like mayonnaise to prepackaged food like a rotisserie chicken. Loss leaders are implemented to drive more new customers to your grocery and increase brand awareness.
MarkdownMarkdowns are necessary if you want to remain competitive in the grocery industry. Drive old or slow-moving products out of your inventory. Consider developing a markdown and forecasting plan to take a more proactive approach to managing your inventory.
Make an effort for a final sale at the point of purchase. When done correctly, you can get 53% of your customers to tap into their impulse-buying instincts and make extra sales. A classic example: the gum right next to the cash register. Here are a few other examples:
Speed bumpsPlace these along the checkout line to ensure maximum visibility from buyers. Speed bumps can also be placed at strategic locations in the grocery — like near the entrance or mid-aisle. Think of the $1 bin section when you first walk into Target.
Free samplesStalls located around the store offering shoppers a free taste of a product sold in your store is a great way for people to try foods without the risk. Costco — a great example of this — has a dozen or more demo stations throughout the store. Customers might not have gummy bears on their shopping list, but they might purchase a box once they try a sample.
Dump binsPlace containers along point-of-purchase areas. This way consumers can sift through the bins while they’re waiting in line. You’ve likely seen these at Wal-Mart — filled with boxes of movie candy or DVD markdowns.
Establishing a loyalty program allows you to build a community of frequent shoppers.
In exchange for their loyalty, they can redeem points that can be turned into items or cash back. If you have yet to create a loyalty program for your grocery, know that 75% of consumers factor in such a program as part of their relationship with a brand, according to Bond, a brand loyalty research and marketing agency.
Here are a few tools to help supercharge your loyalty program and expedite growth:
MailChimpEmail marketing helps you gather buyer information and engage with current or prospective customers consistently. Among the many email platforms, MailChimp is free to use (until you hit more than 2,000 subscribers) so you can cultivate your list and engage customers through different campaigns.
Loyalty ProgramMany loyalty program apps for mobile devices let you create custom rewards and analyze buyer behavior. They’re generally easy to set up and doesn’t require any technical knowledge to use.
QuickBooks Point Of SaleAside from being the No. 1 iPad point-of-sale solution, QuickBooks Point Of Sale lets you manage customer loyalty points and gives you the freedom to set reward amounts and expiration dates all through a simple system.
Larger franchises are able to use celebrities to build their brand. Case in point: Who better for Sainsbury’s, a U.K. supermarket chain, to get than Jamie Oliver as an endorser? The partnership with the celebrity chef helped Sainsbury’s generate an additional £153 million in earnings.
However, you don’t have to think this lofty. Be realistic and look to figures in your community. The local dairy or vegetable farmer can not only help supply you with items but they can also help you promote the nutritious and environment-friendly food selection in your store. Buying local has impact!
Brands are no longer approaching the holiday season with the same gusto as they once did. Deloitte University Press reported holiday sales have decreased by a third from 1993 to 2009. Instead of targeting only the big holidays — like Thanksgiving and Christmas — consider launching sales during other timely events.
Take the Super Bowl for example, an annual event celebrated by people all across the country. Though many fans go to sports bars to watch the big game, a study conducted by Nielsen reveals nine out of 10 people prefer to watch the Super Bowl at home. Cater to this preference.
Sell your food and beverages at slightly discounted prices. Apply some of the different pricing strategies mentioned above. Bundle chips and salsa together to encourage people to purchase both.
The most popular product sold during events is beer. During the Fourth of July, 63.5 million units were sold; Memorial Day, 61 million units; and Labor Day, 60.2 million. Offering discounts on beer in the days before these events is in your best interest as a grocer.
By observing consumer habits, you can formulate a promotions strategy that lowers the costs of grocery products in demand. New customers will take notice and existing customers will be enticed to buy more.