How AWG Retailers Stack Up

Survey Says…

How do AWG member retailers stack up against their competitors when it comes to marketing and advertising to consumers?

We set out to answer this question (and many more) when we recently sent out a survey to our retail members. We wanted to know where our retailers are today in terms of their marketing/advertising strategies, where they want to be, and how they compare to other grocers. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our survey! Below are the results.

The Print Vs. Digital Debate

The majority of our respondents spend about 80% of their time and resources on print advertising (which includes weekly ads, store signage, etc.) versus 20% on digital marketing (websites, marketing email, text, social media). AWG offers both services, because we believe in an integrated approach to advertising and marketing your store. Why?

“The consumer has no singular path to purchase anymore. As retailers, we need to be at the crossroads of as many of their research and purchase decisions as possible to drive traffic our way. This means we have to choose wisely when allocating efforts across traditional, mobile, digital, and social.” – 2017 Advertising & Promotional Practices Study

Consumers want information in a variety of forms. The number of platforms available to communicate with your consumers is continuously growing. How do you choose which ones are right for your store and its consumers?

Know who your consumers are and what they prefer. Ask them. You can do this through surveys, like what we did. In addition, you can gain insights from loyalty program data, also known as Customer Relationship Management or CRM tools. More than 75% of our AWG respondents said they do not have a CRM program yet. According to the 2017 Advertising & Promotional Practices study published by Aptaris and Dunnhumby, nearly two-thirds of grocery stores surveyed offer a loyalty program and this number is increasing.* AWG retailers are clearly behind the industry average. We are aware of this and that’s why we develop the Shopper Engagement Platform (SEP). SEP helps retailers quickly improve engagement with their customers through data and vendor-funded deals. If you want to learn more about AWG’s loyalty options and SEP, click here.

Looking To The Future

Nearly 50% of our respondents said they plan on increasing marketing and advertising efforts in 2018, which is on par with the rest of the industry. The top three programs our retailers are interested in are:

  1. Social media
  2. Text message marketing
  3. Online shopping.

Social media is now used by 95.6% of food retailers* and according to the most recent FMI & Nielsen data, 70% of consumers will be grocery shopping online by 2024.** Clearly embracing or at least learning more about these technologies are essential for retailers to compete in the grocery industry.

Almost 71% of our survey respondents said they realize they need to do more advertising and marketing, but they just don’t have the time or budget. That’s why the AWG Marketing/Advertising teams exist. We recommend first trying out the free services that are available to all AWG members. For example, AWG Brands provides free content for member retailers to use every month through marketing and communication channels. You can learn more here. Also, check out free signage rebate programs; these pay YOU for marketing and advertising in your store. You can learn about our complete lineup of services at

Communicating With You, The Retailer

Our survey results told us that most of our retailers want us to communicate with them via email. Through our weekly email newsletter, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest marketing and advertising trends, and how AWG is addressing them. If you’re not receiving our email newsletters, you can sign up at the bottom of our website: You can also communicate with us on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to visit us at the upcoming food shows – we always have a representative there to help you.

Of the survey respondents, 66% use programs from the AWG Marketing and Advertising Departments and the majority of these users are satisfied with their service. We are continuously working to provide the best quality products and service to you at affordable prices, which is why we conduct surveys to take the pulse of our membership. Whether through print ads or social media or online shopping platforms, our goal is to make the lives of our retailers a little easier by providing them with customized programs and promotions designed to sell more. We’re ready for a successful year ahead and look forward to helping you.




Why do I work at AWG? “I work with an amazing team that values creativity and innovation. I enjoy tackling new opportunities and challenges each day that, of course, always involve food!” -Cara