Grocery stores and other businesses are trying new tactics to reach customers from new angles, including complex digital partnerships and special offers. Digital coupons and discounts are offering new ways to attract customers to stores and digital storefronts. As purchases come through digital channels such as mobile apps, customers are able to buy through email, payment services, and other means. Here are some ways that these new marketing tools can bring in more customers and make it easier to give loyal customers discounts.
- Offering Deals through Payment Services
Usage of mobile payment apps like Apple Pay, PayPal, and other services have grown, especially among young people who prefer them to credit cards and checks. Mobile commerce apps that accept these payment types can let customers make purchases quickly while entering less information.
They are also an avenue for marketing. For instance, Google Pay recently announced a partnership with Target and Safeway supermarkets to share weekly deals with customers. In order to give customers access to discounts and coupons, the payment app will display weekly deals when users search Safeway and Target in the app and let them save and track discounts they are interested in. The app also uses location services if customers are near a Safeway or Target location to notify them of deals going on in that location.
Other payment apps are also working on marketing partnerships: for instance, Apple Pay partnered with several brands to promote deals on Mother’s Day this year. The ability to reach customers through mobile payment apps that they use all the time is a huge advantage for retailers who can access these programs. These can be useful for both online and in-person sales.
- Using Digital Coupons
Digital coupons have made an impact on eCommerce and in-person shopping through email marketing and specialized coupon apps. Now, digital coupon usage has grown to overtake physical coupon use, according to Inmar Intelligence. Between cost-consciousness in the last year and an increase in eCommerce, load-to-card digital coupons rose 27% year-over-year in 2020 and became the most widely used coupon method.
The report also found that 59% of Boomers and 54% of Gen X look for digital coupons before going grocery shopping. Generally, customers see digital coupons as easier to apply and remember. 50% of Boomers and 63% of Gen Xers said the reason they use digital coupons through their loyalty account/card is that it’s easier than using paper coupons.
Digital coupons can reach customers more easily than traditional special offers and remind customers to check out the store’s digital offerings, increasing overall sales.
- Loyalty programs and partnerships
Loyalty programs that offer discounts for members and rewards for repeat purchases are common in the grocery industry. Many have moved online for increased effectiveness from grocery delivery and pickup as well as marketing for in-store sales.
Recently, some partnerships have opened new approaches to loyalty programs. Last year, Walmart partnered with Yahoo Mail to let mail users browse, add grocery items to their cart, and buy through their email. This integrates well with email marketing that sends users promotions and news about discounts so they can go directly to their purchases. Yahoo Mail has taken other steps to connect to grocery sales, letting users add items to a grocery list, find local stores, and connect their loyalty rewards card to their mail account. With 900 million potential users, email app integration makes loyalty programs more effective at getting attention online.
Grocery, restaurant, and other mobile commerce apps can take their loyalty program online to make it easier for consumers to track their points and rewards. Buying on the app provides more ways to spend as well.
Email marketing has more of a challenge than printed circulars in sharing a large quantity of weekly deals. Grocery marketers have found that it’s more effective to focus on a smaller amount of high-quality deals to bring customers to their store in person or browse the digital storefront. Targeted marketing based on past purchases can be used to tailor discounts to loyal customers.
Even if stores are still more dependent on physical store sales than eCommerce, marketing has its best impact online due to targeting and reaching the audience more effectively.