A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that 83% of shoppers continue to prefer shopping at traditional grocery stores rather than big box stores that have incorporated a food section. Despite the overwhelming preference for grocery stores, though, most shoppers acknowledge that the experience is less than desired. Shoppers surveyed want a better shopping experience – primarily through providing a more seamless, digital, and mobile experience.
Grocery stores may seem like an unorthodox way to use Brandlive – after all, grocers are primarily selling large quantities of relatively inexpensive, highly perishable items. How could a brand like a food chain utilize Brandlive, when virtually no groceries (1% of food sales) are purchased online?
Retailers like grocers – and others in a similar category that are not selling traditionally demonstrable products – can use live video interaction as a way to interact with their community beyond the products. When prices and competition are cut throat, and products are virtually identical between different grocers, the way to gain consumer loyalty is through trust and providing a superior experience.
Although groceries still sell their products in stores, they can leverage the quickly rising usage of digital mediums throughout the day to capture their audience’s attention and provide informative seminars and entertainment that focuses on the larger community of the grocery rather than the products themselves.
Some of the key best practices the study identified as ways grocers can improve the customer experience and build loyalty:
Boost brand perception with local events
Events that pertain to the community the grocery store is located in can provide a meeting point for consumers to enrich their daily lives. Broadcasting the event virtually allows consumers to engage with the brand wherever they are.
Prioritize training to empower employees
Employee knowledge is key to increasing the conversion rate, as well as selling premium products. This is especially crucial in the typical supermarket, where one can find themself staring at a floor-to-celing wall of fifteen different types of milk.
Recently, when I was shopping for groceries, I overheard a store employee explaining all of the differences of the eggs they offered. He explained the difference between cage free, vegetarian fed, and organic eggs, and even personally knew some of the egg producers. When he told the shopper about a family that locally produces high quality (with a price to match) eggs, she decided to go with those – because she was empowered with the knowledge and loved the story that came along with it.
Incorporate mobile into the in-store and online brand experience
Now that we all have microcomputers in our pockets, we are able to access a breadth of information wherever we are. Incorporating mobile into the shopping experience of any company is crucial as people are shifting a larger portion of their digital time from desktop to mobile computing.
Just as important, grocery brands can insert themselves into other digital facets of shoppers' lives by creating a connection outside of the store. Brandlive can be experienced anywhere – from the computer, to tablet and mobile devices – and being able to provide a portable experience is essential for brands that want to be digitally accessible anytime, anywhere.
Reinvent company loyalty programs and reward systems
While most shoppers are accustomed to building up points while shopping in stores, grocers have the opportunity to build a digital space for their reward system as well. Supermarkets can go beyond points and offer digital experiences as a reward for their loyal shoppers. With Brandlive, grocers could provide exclusive cooking events and private virtual tastings. Consumers love to feel like they are part of an elite group, and providing experiential rewards is a great way to give value to loyal shoppers.