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09/02/2022

Coborn’s customizes promotions at scale

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Coborn's is individually targeting consumers with promotions.

Coborn’s Inc. is boosting customer loyalty with automated personalization.

The Midwest grocer has been piloting the Birdzi Visper 2.0 solution, which enables retailers to target every element of a promotion to an individual shopper, without manual input. The solution leverages a proprietary shopper quality index called KIC Scores to create the best promotion for each customer.

Using Visper 2.0, Coborn’s automatically selects promoted products from across its entire product catalog, instead of from a preset list of vendor deals, and pairs them with the images, text and discount most likely to convert the shopper.

Coborn’s tested Visper 2.0 between April and August 2022, automatically creating thousands of customized offers for store shoppers and distributing them via its app and website. The retailer measured improvement in customer loyalty and retention, without investing any employee time into managing the personalization campaigns. 

 Among shoppers who participated in the Visper 2.0 campaign, Coborn’s reported a 6% improvement in retaining or growing shopper loyalty segments and an almost 32% improvement in migrating shoppers upwards through loyalty tiers. 

 “After we saw how well our customers responded to this new style of personalization, we were inspired to expand the implementation across all of our locations,” said Diana Barr, director digital and loyalty marketing, Coborn’s. “The solution fits seamlessly into our existing customer touchpoints and the impact on our customer’s lifetime value was quickly clear.” 

“Visper 2.0 ensures higher relevancy and makes it easy for shoppers to find deals that will encourage them to visit the same grocer time and time again,” said Shekar Raman, CEO and co-founder, Birdzi. “Already, we’re seeing fantastic results from our customer base.” 

Coborn’s takes personalization to the conveyor belt

Coborn’s has also been targeting customers at checkout in a partnership with MessageWrap to transform its grocery conveyor belts into dynamic, antimicrobial billboards for marketing messages and advertising. Content on the belts includes shopper loyalty promotions, such as Coborn’s “More Rewards” program; as well as food facts and price cuts.

The grocer has also integrated its More Rewards loyalty program, which enables members to earn rewards and coupons, with its POS system. Through this integration, cashiers can be digitally prompted to interact with customers about the rewards program.

This additional prompt is designed to extend the reach of the printed message on the conveyor belt, from the visual moment at checkout, to the discussion with the cashier, to the online mobile experience in the store and then the ongoing engagement when they leave the store.

In addition, Coborn’s highlights its private label items with printed conveyor belt promotions. Messaging highlights the grocer’s use of local vendors for private label food items, as well as the Chicken Shack and Four Brothers private label brands.

St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s Inc. is a 100-year-old employee-owned grocery retailer with nearly 9,300 employees and 59 grocery stores across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin under the Coborn’s Case Wine Foods, Marketplace Foods and Hornbacher’s banners. Coborn’s Inc. also owns liquor, fuel, and pharmacy locations. Coborn’s also operates its own central bakery, dry cleaning facility and grocery distribution center.