CHICAGO — Wakefern Food Corp. has ramped up its digital efforts to create a stronger relationship with shoppers, particularly younger ones.

“From a strategic standpoint, our digital initiatives allow us to engage with the next generation of shoppers,” Donna Zambo, manager of ecommerce and digital innovation for the member-owned wholesale cooperative, Keasbey, N.J., said Thursday in a session at the Path to Purchase Institute’s Shopper Marketing Expo.


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Wakefern’s overall consumer base is aging: Just 33% of all shoppers are younger than 45 years of age. However, 49% of those who have provided emails; 57% who use the retailer’s ShopRite from Home service; and 66% who use its mobile app are under 45.

Digital coupons currently rank No. 4 on the list of reasons why consumers visit shoprite.com, following the weekly circular, ShopRite from Home and ShopRite's store locator.

Leveraging its email database — now 2 million strong, it sends targeted offers based on past purchase behavior. The offers are designed to engage and reward shoppers.

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For instance, in celebration of Mondel─ôz Nabisco’s Mallomar cookie’s 100th anniversary, it recently sent targeted offers to those who have purchased the brand. The offer: $1 a box. More than 17,000 coupons were downloaded, and more than 11,000 redeemed.

“The strategy here wasn’t necessarily to bring in new users; rather it was done to thank our customers,” Zambo said.

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