Supermarkets, Personalized

Articles
January 13, 2011

Supermarkets, Personalized

Shoppers and supermarkets are in a delicate dance, in which people want their preferred stores to supply their preferred items in a preferred style...

Shoppers and supermarkets are in a delicate dance, in which people want their preferred stores to supply their preferred items in a preferred style. Yet they don’t want to feel the retailer knows too much about them, or lose privacy, or lose a sense that they control terms of the relationship. 

This is where food apps for cell phones, PDAs and iPads can shine. Shoppers using apps open the gateway for personalized electronic marketing, such as savings offers good for less than an hour on items they’ve been known to buy. Suddenly, promotions are extremely relevant, personal and expedient – and people can turn the flow on or off if they wish.

Apps certainly offer much more as well in terms of product information and speedier checkout. But focusing on promotions only, The Lempert Report sees the ability of apps to target, deliver and convert all at once as a cornerstone to attracting tech-savvy shoppers of all generations.

It is also, in a sense, reminiscent of the legendary Kmart Blue Light Specials, which themselves effectively drew traffic to deals that lasted 30 minutes on the selling floor. This caused us to wonder at The Lempert Report – are there other classic marketing approaches that could be made new again through technology?

Some of our first thoughts went to special services such as party catering, holiday platters, cake orders, and the advance prep of special dinners for two at home (empty nesters), such as the boiling and shelling of lobsters – all communicated quickly by phone or computer, with an electronic trail for accuracy.  Or setting up healthcare consultations with in-store pharmacists and dietitians through a ‘live better’ portal.  Or layaway payments made online or through cells.   

These are some starter examples. Retailers that think about modernizing proven programs can likely find plenty of ideas that would relate well to their core markets.