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Success in Text Message Marketing: a Case Study

Problem: In 2010, Yoss Thriftway wanted to find a new way to reach their customers. At the time, they weren’t interested in jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, but wanted to connect personally with their community in a different way than their competition in neighboring towns. Solution: Store management was intrigued by the idea of text message marketing, which would give them access to their customers’ cell phones, an item nearly everyone keeps nearby. 97% of text messages are read within minutes of being received, giving Yoss Thriftway a way to immediately and directly reach their customers with special offers and store news. To promote the program, Yoss Thriftway started with in-store signage, bag stuffers, and small signs at each register. To entice customers to sign up, each registrant received a text for 10% off a purchase of $50 or more, valid for the three days after they signed up. Results: In the nine years since it started the program, the store has more than 1,350 people signed up to receive text messages. The town’s population is 1,650. After opening a…

Episode 16

On this month’s show we are talking Shelf Stable Juice with Brian Adams (2:53). Followed by Melissa Davis discussing the new look Learning and Development department (8:36). Finally, Jessica Magnussen drops in to talk about the new price changes in DSG, and things members can do to bring down costs and grow sales at the same time (16:10)

AWG Brands Promotional Content for June

June is National Dairy Month. We have dairy-friendly content to share with your customers this month. Below is the digital content for your website, social media platforms, emails and more to promote AWG Private Brands. Best Choice Video of the Month The June Video of the Month is an Ice Cream Cake. This video features Best Choice Ice Cream Sandwiches. You can share this short video from the Best Choice website, YouTube, or using the native files found here. Best Choice Recipe of the Month The June Recipe of the Month from the Best Choice Calendar is Cheddar Snaps. The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. The native files can be found here. Dietitian Content AWG Brands Dietitian, Rebecca Mueller, has new blog posts about National Dairy Month and the importance of eating your vegetable. This month’s recipes include Olive Tapenade Hummus and Strawberry Cupcake.  Recipes will be posted on the second and fourth Monday of the month on the Dietitian Corner.  Lifestyle blog posts are posted on the 1st and the 15th of the…


Preventing Gift Card Fraud

Every couple weeks or so I get a call or email about a store that had fallen victim to a gift card scam. These fraud attempts are inevitable, however prevention is possible! Fraudsters are clever, convincing, intimidating and even threatening. They change their approach and scam type frequently until something works. If only that intellect and energy were used for good. One of the scams I hear about often is, an employee fields a call from an individual that claims to be someone from Visa, Blackhawk, POS Vendor or even a person of rank within their own organization. The person calling would then claim that they need to test the system for proper data transmission, or some other reason and request to have a certain card or cards activated and be told what the card numbers are so they can verify the codes. Once they get those activated card numbers they can then deplete the card funds for their personal use. It’s important to train staff members that NO ONE not even a government official will call with any such…

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Adventures of an Online Shopper

You may have ripped the bandage off and implemented an online shopping program at your store. Well, congratulations! Perhaps you are using a program such as Instacart or Shipt. Are you curious about what kind of people would be in your store, shopping on behalf of your customers? Are you wondering how to equip your store for contracted shoppers? I signed up to become a Shipt Shopper several months ago and have recently been doing a lot of shopping. Characteristics of a contracted shopper Online shoppers or contracted shoppers are contracted to shop in your store and other stores based on the shopper’s area. The general requirements for this position are: must be 18 years old, have a valid US driver’s license, auto insurance, reliable vehicle, knowledge of produce selection, insulated cooler bags, the ability to lift 40 pounds, and own a smartphone. Contracted shoppers must also pass a background check and complete a series of videos provided to them from the online shopping platform to learn how to properly grocery shop.  Though these contracted shoppers are working in your…

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Trending Now: May

Food trends in May are all about Mother’s Day, warmer weather, cooler foods and drinks, campouts, and the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day. Most people think of breakfast in bed or brunch when they think of Mother’s Day. But a lot of sweet treats popped up on the internet this month to help you show the moms in your life how much you care. Like these delicious Mother’s Day cakes or this beautiful edible bouquet. May isn’t just about moms. It’s also the time of year when everyone is preparing for summer. The temperatures get warmer and the food and drinks get colder. It’s the perfect time to start breaking out refreshing summer drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Expect lots of fun summer treats with boozy twists like these champagne popsicles. Or something fun for the kids like mermaid layered slushies. As the temperatures increase, more people are going outside to enjoy the sunshine. This means more cookouts and picnics. Flavorful fresh salads are a popular side dish at these outdoor events, along with other types of tasty sides…

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SMCKC May Lunch Recap: Making A Splash on Social During Large-Scale Events

Recently I attended a SMCKC lunch titled “Making a Splash on Social During Large-Scale Events.” It was a panel Q&A with Derek Byrne of Visit KC, Rachel Kephart of KC Film (a division of Visit KC), and John Kreicbergs of Propaganda3. While I work with retailers on digital promotions for their events, they aren’t the type of large-scale events that were discussed by the panel. But I found that a lot of what they advised to the audience can be applied to small-scale events and social strategy in general. For example, all three panelists discussed the importance of keeping attendees informed before, during, and after the event. Derek Byrne manages social media for all of the college basketball tournament games that take place in Kansas City in March. For these games, Visit KC is on social media all year long, announcing games when they are scheduled, helping people plan their trips, and giving them sightseeing ideas outside of the games if they’re coming out of town to visit. John Kreicbergs works on events like Boulevardia, a craft beer and music…

Missing Images in Your Online Shopping Store

As the online shopping onboarding process gets close to launch, a somewhat surprising task falls on the shoulders of the retailer: gathering missing images for items that don’t already have a picture in the ecommerce provider’s system. The ecommerce provider will have national CPG images, product descriptions and nutritional information imported from a number of international databases. The provider will also comb through your store’s data to match available images to items that don’t have an image because of how the items are labeled or abbreviated in your backend system. Once that’s complete, a store will most likely be in the 80% image match range. (Most stores launch with an 80-90% match rate. It’ll never be 100%.) The retailer is given a missing image report and it’s usually overwhelming at first glance. It will probably have thousands of items listed, but you don’t need to get pictures for all of them. Many of the items in the list are things you no longer carry or rarely ever sell. You don’t need to worry about those. What’s the likelihood you’re going…


What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

88 percent of consumers research products online before purchasing online or in-store. Wonder how you can take advantage of these searches? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has grown with the number of consumers researching and shopping for products online. It may sound intuitive, but according to Wikipedia, Search Engine Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay-per-click (PPC) listings. As defined by Wikipedia, here are the definitions of some SEM activities and terms: Paid search advertising: When Ads are set up using an auction-based, PPC model which show digital ads on search engine results pages such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. How often your ads appear, the rankings, and how much you pay per click — are all determined from your bid and Quality Score. Quality Score: Once you create an ad and…

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How SEO can Strengthen your Digital Store Brand Identity

Have you ever searched for something on the Internet and found yourself looking at an entry on the 4th or 5th page? Me neither. Who has the time? There are several tasks a business can do to increase their website’s rankings. Some of these tasks are free to do yourself, while other tasks will cost you. The free tasks will take 3-6 months to see results, and depending on your technical comfort level, might end up getting farmed out anyway. If you choose the paid route, results will be more immediate. I like how Gilco Digital defined Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of affecting the online visibility of a website in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these visitors can then be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search,…