If the in-store experience is not up-to-par with the competition, if 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 retailer, but that loyalty can be easily swayed.
Luckily, there are ways to ensure your customers keep coming back. One of the top strategies is to reward the best customers. While this can be done through typical loyalty programs and incentives, 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. Evaluating and re-evaluating customer profiles
Grocers typically have tremendous amounts of untapped data. However, the good news is that this data can be put to use by consistently evaluating customer profiles and sales trends. By truly getting to know each customer, grocers can inspire new opportunities for relationship building.
For example, imagine a grocer uses customer profiles to identify a shopper who often comes in for one-off items, like milk or eggs, but rarely fills a cart. To win the shopper’s loyalty overall, the grocer should consider offering a more personal approach. For example, they could send a 10% off your purchase of $150 or more coupon. Or they could conduct email outreach informing the shopper of loyalty program benefits.
Similarly, a grocer may use profiles to identify a loyal organic-veggie-loving shopper who is no longer visiting a grocery store in favor of a new grocer in the neighborhood. This provides a perfect chance to send a personalized recommendation, say encouraging them to try the fresh local tomatoes that just arrived. By encouraging the shopper to return to the store with a personalized offer, the grocer can re-capture shopper loyalty.
Either way, customer profiles are crucial tools for identifying opportunities to foster loyalty.
2. Creating personalized offers and 'add-to-cart' recommendations
By knowing what loyal shoppers buy and when, grocers gain insights into the favorite foods, price points, and purchase timelines of their best customers. When this data is voluntarily shared with a grocer, the work has just begun. This personalized data helps grocers create a curated shopping experience that leverages the entire product catalogue.
Personalized offers can help drive both customer satisfaction and cart size. For example, for a shopper who sometimes splurges on a bakery item before a long weekend, giving them a coupon for a treat that’s just outside their typical price range might inspire them to try something different.
Or, for a typically adventurous shopper who is always testing new products, sending them a unique recipe suggestion that includes an ingredient they have never bought might encourage them to branch out to new product categories.
Through specific offers and tailored communication, grocers can improve the in-store experience and help shoppers pack the perfect cart – leading to enhanced loyalty and profitability for the grocer and improved CLV.
3. Incorporating omnichannel touchpoints for digitally savvy shoppers
Efficiency is important to today’s shoppers. Loyal customers already experience a quicker shopping journey because of the familiarity they have with the store layout. Yet, grocers don’t want to see shoppers taking the same in-store journey every time, because then their basket size won’t grow, and their customer lifetime value will remain steadfast.
That’s why item-locating tools can be a great way to encourage these shoppers to try new product categories and expand their basket size. This strategy can prompt 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 through additional touchpoints like curbside pickup. With buy-online-pick-up-in-store options, customers are encouraged to be omnichannel shoppers.
This is beneficial because Birdzi found that omnichannel grocery shoppers, or “omnishoppers”, can spend up to 140% more than in-store-only shoppers and 84% more than online-only shoppers in a given month. Loyal shoppers who already visit the e-commerce site should be persuaded to try curbside pickup to increase the frequency of their in-store visits.
Finally, grocers can also ease the loyal shopper’s mind with timely reminders. If the shopper buys baby formula every three weeks, try sending them a cart recommendation around that time. This can come from either 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.
Futureproofing with loyalty strategies
Grocers should never rest on their laurels and take their best customers for granted. By catering the in-store experience to loyal shoppers, grocers can persuade these customers to make more frequent trips, improve basket size and maintain their dedication to the grocery store. Fostering loyalty and improving CLV are a critical strategies for long-term success.