Industry Voices

How grocery retailers can deliver more value through personalized marketing


Genia Chechersky is a manager in the Chicago office of emnos U.S., a global consulting firm specializing in consumer insights. Contact her at

Think the key to delivering a personalized marketing experience for your shoppers is only about relevant offers? Think again. According to new consumer insights gathered by emnos, shoppers aren’t just looking for useful grocery coupons, they want relevant solutions – tips and advice that will simplify their lives, save on time, and provide them with pertinent information around food and wellness.

In fact, 64% of customers would like to receive more content from their grocers, and 83% feel that their retailers are not providing sufficient information and resources to help them meet their lifestyle goals.

Grocers have invested a great deal of money, strategy and research into providing relevant offers and discounts, however, consumer pulse points are trending towards consumer lifestyles. It’s more than “What’s on sale?” but instead, “What dishes can I make (in less than 30 minutes) for my gluten-free aunt and uncle with…what’s on sale?”


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With a few strategic adjustments based on consumer data and insights, grocers can address these lifestyle trends and reconnect with customers in a meaningful way once again. Here’s how:

• Make the transition from offers to solutions. While the concept of pairing information and coupons is hardly novel, the shift from supplying relevant offers to delivering tailored solutions is one that only a small percentage of grocers have embraced. Solutions can take the form of tips, recipes, reminders, inspirations or updates. For example, 46% of shoppers are interested in receiving snack ideas from their grocery retailer, and 61% voice eating healthy on a budget as a major concern. In addition to highlighting goods that a customer might want to try, grocers should look to provide easy recipes for these shoppers or offer guidance on how to keep produce fresher.

• Always prioritize relevancy and value. In 2014, grocers will continue to battle for shoppers’ interest in an ever-connected, short attention span world. The most successful grocery retailers will be those who carefully analyze their customers’ preferences and behavior and truly provide personalized solutions and offers. No matter how great the content, if it’s not pertinent to a customer, it’s of no value to them. Also remember, relevant offers must always be a part of the equation as consumers are less likely to disregard a mailer or email if a pertinent offer is included.

• Keep it short and sweet. The end goal is not to flood shoppers with a plethora of offers and content, rather, the objective is to educate consumers and deliver relevant solutions that will help them get the most out of their purchase decisions. Keep materials concise to save shoppers time – they’ll value you for it.

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