Raising the store’s relevancy

March 19, 2012

How to engage consumers with the supermarket? It's all about the data, says a new SAS-Cranfield study.

Consumers are more engaged with their supermarket than with their bank or mobile phone provider, shows new research about attitudes toward food-store marketing.

According to the SAS UK and Cranfield School of Management study, 91% of British consumers engaged with their supermarket during a single month, either through personal experience, broadcast or word-of-mouth. This topped their 88% engagement level with banks and 82% with cellular providers.

But supermarkets have much they can do to improve, the research suggests:
•    Out-of-stocks on promoted items frustrate customers, who can easily complain publicly via social media and smartphones
•    About 20% of consumers shared or received word-of-mouth experiences, most of it negative
•    Supermarkets should tailor their messaging and shift away from low-price offers in the mass media
•    Supermarkets should use analytic insights to make e-mail outreach as relevant as their targeted direct-mail offers

“Supermarkets must get better at incorporating data from emerging channels such as online, mobile and social media into loyalty programs to create a more personalized and relevant experience across all channels,” said Charles Randall, solutions marketing manager at SAS UK. “There is also a clear opportunity for supermarkets to enhance their demand forecasting to maintain stock levels, even during promotions, to minimize customer dissatisfaction.”

The Lempert Report feels these insights apply to U.S. retailers – that Kroger illustrates one successful example of market segmentation, and ShopRite another of tailored direct mail promotions, which more operators could learn from and build on to engage their shopper base.