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Understanding the customer is first step at Brookshire Grocery


Brookshire Grocery Co. is undertaking an ambitious omnichannel transformation plan, and focusing it on the wants and needs of the consumer.

“We know everything there is to know about our customers,” said John D’Anna, senior VP and CIO of Tyler, Texas-based Brookshire, in an interview with Chain Store Age. The regional chain operates 152 stores under the Brookshire’s, Super 1 Foods and Fresh by Brookshire’s banners.

Brookshire decided that using its extensive knowledge of its customers, due to initiatives such as its YourPoints loyalty program, it would create a new customer-centric experience that seamlessly stretched across mobile, online and in-store channels.

Having partnered with SAP in areas such as supply chain since 2004, Brookshire decided to launch the program by using the hybris marketing tool and SAP Customer Activity Repository (CAR), based on the SAP HANA in-memory computing platform, to sift and segment customer data for enhanced engagement.

“We wanted to promote to customers based on their shopping history, and then have SAP put the capability into the base code,” said D’Anna.

Assisted by SAP consulting partner N SPRO in integrating various modules, Brookshire used hybris marketing to generate customer lists based on previous shopping history. The retailer then used the SAP Promotion Management for Retail (PMR) engine to create purchase forecasts based on that history, which served as the basis for targeted email and text promotions.

According to D’Anna, even consumers who don’t see the promotions still benefit.

“The promotion goes straight to our mobile app and is automatically loaded on the customer’s loyalty card,” said D’Anna. “They will get a discount at checkout even if they don’t know about it.”

This process also involves using some algorithms from shopper intelligence provider Spire LLC, which are combined with what D’Anna termed “expertise and secret sauce” from SAP and loaded into the CAR system to help hybris generate highly specialized lists.

“We can create lists by district, loyalty, or even customer segments like shoppers who don’t buy dog food,” explained D’Anna.

Brookshire’s current targeted promotion program went live in November 2015. It is the first phase in a three-phase process Brookshire anticipates completing in October 2017.

“Phase one was understanding the customer,” stated D’Anna. “Phase two will involve revamping our operation for omnichannel with a new site and mobile apps, as well as geofencing stores. Phase three will be revamping our store touchpoints, including a new POS. We’ll also put in new shelf edge technology that will allow us to detect customers in store and send real-time targeted promotions to their mobile app.”

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