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Innovation in Local Grocery: Standing Strong With Charm

Published January 18, 2024
in Blog by Wordpress Publisher
Innovation in Local Grocery: Standing Strong With Charm

Innovation Is A Necessity, Not An Option

It’s an understatement to say that the grocery landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Innovation has certainly increased. 85% of grocers are experimenting with new customer experience technology, up 73% from 2021. 

With these technology investments on the rise, it’s no wonder that major grocery chains like Walmart, Costco and Kroger are leading the pack in terms of market share. With a larger budget for technology and innovation, Walmart has been able to amass 25.2% of the industry’s market share

Despite large variances in resources, independent grocery stores still have one major advantage over their goliath counterparts: the personal connections made possible by a local, community-driven store. These stores provide major benefits, including offering a place for neighbors to interact, the comfort of employees who personally greet repeat shoppers, and the simplicity of knowing the store’s layout. 

So how can local retailers compete with the likes of Walmart and Costco without losing the local charm? And how can accessible technology bridge the gap between the comfortable small store format and the digital future? For many grocers, a centralized and personalized app powered by Birdzi’s Customer Intelligence Platform can create a path forward. 

  1. Laying The Groundwork For Branded Store Applications

Personalization is the reason local stores offer a community aspect. Traditionally personalizing the shopper experience has been in the form of face-to-face recognition and individualized hands-on support. However, this approach can be difficult to achieve in today’s grocer landscape as a result of ongoing labor shortages, which have kept grocers from being able to adequately staff the store floor. 

Luckily, grocers can still create a close-knit, mutually beneficial relationship with shoppers via branded apps that welcome them into the store and guide them through the experience, just as a store associate might. 

With Birdzi, store apps have access to a variety of factors including a shopper’s previous shopping behavior, ongoing preferences, health requirements and price sensitivities. Grocers can use this touchpoint to personalize the shopping experience. 

  1. Offering Personalized Weekly Ad Circulars 

    Personalized Weekly Ad

Successful promotions are about more than just the lowest price, they’re about delivering the right offer to the right shopperat the right time. By personalizing the weekly advertising circular in a store app, grocers can rely on Birdzi’s automated data and insights to ensure shoppers receive promotions that will intrigue them. 

For example, if a shopper lives in a small apartment and likes to limit the size of their basket then they might not be interested in a buy-one-get-one-free deal. Instead, they might be more likely to respond to a lesser discount on the first item.

Store applications can learn these preferences from elements like click-through-rates, basket sizes, coupon redemption rates and more. By populating the weekly ad circular with these individualized preferences, the ROI of the traditional weekly ad multiplies and customer loyalty grows. 

  1. Engaging Shoppers With Individualized Recommendations 

VISPER EmailGrocers can also offer individualized recommendations that increase the value of these 1:1 relationships. For example, Birdzi monitors previous shopping patterns, powering apps with data to update relevant shopping lists and email reminders. 

Let’s say a shopper is a fan of a seasonal maple cookie that is only sold in the fall. When the season kicks off, the grocer could send a personalized email or app notification reminding the shopper that it’s time for a store visit. Similarly, if a shopper always buys peanut butter and jelly at the same time but only has peanut butter on their in-app shopping list, the app can recommend adding jelly to the list. 

The more frequently the shopper visits the local store, the more accurate the outreach can be and the more beneficial information they will receive. This is especially important as accurate outreach can help discourage a shopper from visiting the nearby superstore, at which their needs are simply seen as one in a thousand.

Finding Unique Ways To Stand Out

Competing with the likes of Walmart and Costco can be intimidating, but it’s not impossible. It’s important that local grocers find their point of differentiation, like a personalized, community-based feel, and invest in it. 

Branded store apps are just the first step when it comes to local grocers throwing their hat in the ring with larger chains.  Local grocers can establish mutually beneficial relationships with their customers that will stand up to the major retailers and foster ongoing loyalty and profitability with the right personalization partner.  If you’re interested in creating truly personalized promotions and recommendations, reach out to us today to get started. 


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