Merchants step up personalization in loyalty bids
This week in grocery, retailers are ramping up personalization efforts as rising prices boost supermarket sales.
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released on Thursday (January 12) revealed that grocery prices in December rose 11.8% year-on-year, with some categories even higher. The prices of cereals and baked goods rose 16.1%, and dairy prices up 15.3%.
Still, given the necessity of eating out every day, consumers have few options but to bear the brunt of this inflation, given that restaurant prices are also up 8.3%, and eating out remains significantly more expensive than cooking at home.
Additionally, as PYMNTS’ Karen Webster noted last month, “Seven months of consumer data reported by PYMNTS show that consumers consistently say that the prices they pay for food, gas, clothing and household items are more than twice as high as public data reports.”
Merchants take advantage of consumers’ price anxiety. Research from PYMNTS’ study ‘Consumer Inflation Sentiment: Inflation Slowly Ebbs, but Consumer Outlook Remains Gloomy’, which drew from a survey of more than 2,100 consumers, found that 78% have eaten at home more often to save money amid inflation.
The question for retailers becomes: how do we ensure that when consumers move to buy groceries more, we are the retailer of choice? This is where recent data and personalization investments come in.
Meijer launches personalization-focused loyalty upgrade
Michigan-based supermarket chain Meijer, which has nearly 500 stores across the Midwest and Kentucky, announced Thursday the launch of an update to its mPerks loyalty program to improve rewards personalization capabilities.
“Meijer is committed to providing value and convenience to our customers, and the changes we’ve made to mPerks extend both by offering more personalized savings, along with more opportunities to earn points,” Vice President of Customer Strategy Derek Steele said in a statement . “We want to ensure that we continue to offer personalized value while making the experience fun and engaging.”
In fact, deals that appeal to consumers can be the key to increasing purchase frequency. According to data from PYMNTS’ study “Decoding Customer Affinity: The Customer Loyalty to Merchants Survey 2022,” created in partnership with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, 42% of grocery customers said the availability of loyalty programs with rewards they like would improve their loyalty to merchants.
In addition, research from PYMNTS’ Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization study, created in partnership with ACI Worldwide, found that 74% of merchants believe consumers would be very or extremely likely to switch merchants if digital coupons and rewards did not was provided for.
Albertsons increases data capacity with Pinterest Pilot
Albertsons Companies, meanwhile, wants to improve its personalization capabilities by partnering with other businesses to expand its data access.
Last week, Pinterest announced that the grocer is the first business pilot to test the social media platform’s new cleanroom solution created in partnership with data platform LiveRamp. The initiative offers a digital space where Albertsons can connect its own first-party data to Pinterest’s data, generating anonymized insights into consumer behavior.
The grocer begins by using this tool to provide reports to brands that advertise through Albertsons’ internal retail media company, helping to track the effectiveness of their campaigns.
“While our initial test pilot focused on enabling closed-loop measurement, this partnership will ultimately give our team a more holistic view of our customers’ digital footprint to unlock more advanced measurement capabilities, such as incrementality and Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA), down the road, Kristi Argyilan, senior vice president of retail media at Albertsons Media Collective, said in a statement.