If the in-store experience isn’t up to par with the competition, if the prices are too high, or if the competition creates a more compelling reason to visit their store, customers will reconsider their loyalty.
A recent Salesforce study found that 82% of shoppers are loyal to a particular grocery storebut this loyalty can be easily swayed.
Luckily, there are ways to make sure your customers come back. One of the main strategies is to reward the best customers. While this can be done through typical loyalty and incentive programs, customers are also receptive to the benefits of a personalized in-store experience, which can only be created by being loyal.
Let’s dive into the ways grocers can create a more personalized in-store journey for shoppers and increase their customer lifetime value (CLV).
1. Evaluate and re-evaluate customer profiles
Grocers typically have huge amounts of untapped data. However, the good news is that this data can be used in consistently assessing customer profiles and sales trends. By truly getting to know each customer, grocers can inspire new relationship-building opportunities.
For example, imagine a grocer uses customer profiles to identify a shopper who often comes in to buy unique items, like milk or eggs, but rarely fills a shopping cart. To build overall customer loyalty, the grocer should consider offering a more personal approach. For example, they might send a coupon for 10% off your purchase of $150 or more. Or they could run an email outreach campaign informing the buyer of the benefits of the loyalty program.
Similarly, a grocer can use profiles to identify a loyal organic vegetable shopper who no longer visits a grocery store in favor of a new neighborhood grocer. This provides a perfect opportunity to send a personalized recommendation, for example encouraging them to try the local fresh tomatoes that have just arrived. By enticing the shopper to return to the store with a personalized offer, the grocer can win back the shopper’s loyalty.
Either way, customer profiles are crucial tools for identifying loyalty opportunities.
2. Create personalized offers and “add to cart” recommendations
By knowing what loyal shoppers are buying and when, grocers gain insight into the food preferences, prices and buying times of their best customers. When this data is voluntarily shared with a grocer, the work has only just begun. This personalized data helps grocers create an organized shopping experience that leverages the entire product catalog.
Personalized offers can contribute to both customer satisfaction and basket size. For example, for a shopper who sometimes splurges on a bakery item before a long weekend, giving them a coupon for a sweet treat that’s just out of their usual price range may entice them to try something different. different.
Or, for a typically adventurous shopper who is always testing new products, sending them a unique recipe suggestion that includes an ingredient they’ve never purchased could encourage them to branch out into new product categories.
Through specific offers and tailored communication, grocers can enhance the in-store experience and help shoppers prepare the perfect basket, which improves grocer loyalty and profitability and improves CLV.
3. Incorporate omnichannel touchpoints for digital savvy shoppers
Efficiency is important to today’s buyers. Loyal customers already experience a faster purchase journey due to the familiarity they have with the store layout. Yet grocers don’t want to see shoppers take the same in-store journey every time because their basket size won’t increase and their customer lifetime value will remain stable.
That’s why item locator tools can be a great way to encourage these shoppers to try new product categories and increase their cart size. This strategy can drive app downloads if the grocer offers a mobile app. Or, recommendation emails can include aisle information for products that are new to the customer.
Efficiency can also be offered by additional touchpoints like curbside pickup. With online shopping and in-store pickup options, customers are encouraged to be omnichannel shoppers.
This is beneficial because Birdzi discovered that omnichannel grocers, or “omnishoppers”, box spend up to 140% more than in-store only shoppers and 84% more than online only shoppers in a given month. Loyal shoppers who are already visiting the e-commerce site should be persuaded to try curbside pickup to increase the frequency of their store visits.
Finally, grocers can also ease the spirit of the loyal customer with timely reminders. If the shopper buys formula every three weeks, try sending them a cart recommendation around that time. This can come from the grocer’s mobile app or via email. Either way, it’s a great way to connect with shoppers and simplify their next trip to the store.
Sustain with loyalty strategies
Grocers should never rest on their laurels and take their best customers for granted. By delivering the in-store experience to loyal shoppers, grocers can persuade those customers to make more frequent trips, improve basket size, and maintain their dedication to grocery shopping. Retaining and improving CLV are essential strategies for long-term success.
Shekar Raman is co-founder and CEO, Birdzi