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Grocery Stores Stock Up on Loyalty

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As consumers, we’re there every week, sometimes even more often that that, getting our gallon of milk, loaf of bread and all the other things that we need to stock the pantry. And while some might think that grocers have it relatively easy when it comes to keeping loyal customers, the fact is, the battle for loyalty within the grocery store landscape is often a daunting one with grocery competitors often taking divergent views on how to best approach consumers.

Safeway’s Just For U Personalized Rewards Program

Safeway recently rolled out their Just 4 U program aimed squarely at creating a personalized shopping experience for its customers nationwide. The program allows shoppers to access promotional offerings online, including offers tailored specifically to their purchase history. A few clicks, and the offers are “loaded” onto their card. Looks like those weekly newspaper circulars will go the way of the dinosaur before long. This digital approach, paired with a mobile application, makes managing coupons a whole lot easier for today’s shoppers.

Recently Safeway chairman and CEO Steve Burd shared the following Just 4 Uprogram results in a Drug Store News article:

  • Registrations are on track, capturing 70% of its customers into the loyalty program.
  • Conversion to regular use is running 20% greater to what was initially anticipated.
  • Incremental spend for that casual user is more than 50% more than anticipated.
  • The Just 4 U mobile app has played a significant role in enhancing participation, with mobile users using Just 4 U 50% more often than those confined to a desktop.

Kroger Plus Program

In 2001 Kroger first introduced its Kroger Plus loyalty card, which allows customers to earn points for grocery shopping, eligible pharmacy prescriptions, gift cards and gasoline. Customers can download digital coupons to their cards and receive notification of products that have been recalled. In addition, Kroger tailors coupons specifically to consumers’ homes through the program. Kroger’s loyalty program paired with their ability to hold prices down even as food costs rise has helped the company steal share from other supermarket chains and hold its own against big box competitors, like Wal-Mart.

While both of these supermarket giants have had loyalty programs for quite some time, it’s interesting to see how they have cultivated and grown these programs to embrace new capabilities, address customer desires and ultimately grow their long-term loyalty. If you know that you are in need of taking your loyalty program to the next level, but aren’t sure where to start, consider a loyalty audit to fine-tune your strategy and objectives and help set you on the right path.

Sallie Burnett
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