A Whole New Ballgame in Supermarket Advertising and Promotions

Aptaris, an enterprise marketing and promotions management company, and dunnhumby, a leading customer science company, recently shared with MMW it’s freshly released second annual study, “Advertising and Promotional Practices Among U.S. Supermarket Retailers.”

As expected, the report provides an in-depth review of grocery industry best practices with a look at expected changes in the coming years.

“With responses from nearly 70 food retailers representing more than 4,600 stores across 34 states, the comprehensive study details growing investments in social media, mobile and more relevant promotions by U.S. grocers in response to changing consumer buying behavior,” the report summary reads.

As for the key findings, here’s what we can tell you:

  • Digital circulars are an important first step in online engagement – While digital circulars have become the norm, sophistication varies widely. With shoppers increasingly moving their planning and shopping online, digital optimization is important to omnichannel success.
  • Plan, execute, evaluate and adapt – Many food retailers are investing in social, mobile and digital tactically, but not strategically. Retailers with greater budget allocation and digital/social presence are much more likely to measure the effectiveness of their efforts.
  • One size fits no one – Consumers are demanding relevant content, but only 36 percent of grocers use segmentation in their print pieces. This picture may change rapidly, with 42 percent planning to start segmented print outreach in the next two years.
  • Opportunity gaps exist in social media – Total shopper usage of social media far exceeds retail social presence, presenting grocers with a green field opportunity to grow social engagement across vehicles
  • Loyalty cards can successfully drive engagement beyond the circular – Loyalty retailers have above-average transaction sizes and emphasize technology integration, digital/mobile and social, targeted print outreach and greater levels of sophistication.

“The 2017 report underscores the accelerated pace of change for supermarkets,” said Tom O’Reilly, CEO of Aptaris. “When nine in 10 retailers say they plan on reducing budget from print circulars and moving it to digital, mobile and social media, marketers must identify resources to support them with these transitions while maintaining consistent communications with shoppers. That’s the type of actionable information contained in this important industry study.”