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The mile marker painted white on the blacktop of the footpath on a close up view.

Chasing the Last Mile

Of all the hot topics in retail these days, last-mile fulfillment is one of the hottest. Independent grocery retailers are becoming more comfortable with the notion of click and collect eCommerce, but last mile seems to be another beast altogether. There are concerns, for sure. But, as more and more competitors venture into delivery, retailers are asking how they can get in the game. At the Home Delivery World conference in Atlanta in April, Bringg laid out seven steps in the delivery process and how retailers can prepare to tackle it head on. 7 steps in delivery: Streamline processes – ensure the data used to power delivery is correct. Have the right product and pricing information and understand what’s even going to be available via delivery. Improve Efficiency – Learn how to track inventory and have driver visibility for both the driver and the customer. Use real time data and consider proof of delivery. Provide Visibility – Build trust with on-time delivery and use data to understand each component of the process and how to continuously improve it. Communicate effectively…

InCara

The Future of Retail

If grocers could look into a crystal ball to see what the industry is going to be like one year, two, five or even ten years down the road, what would they see? The Future of Retail study tries to answer that question each year. The 2018 edition was recently published. Here are some important pieces that I wanted to share after reading the study: Consumers are quickly embracing voice-activated interactions via digital assistants and hand-free devices, like Amazon Echo and Google Home. The key to success when it comes to customer data will be for brands and retailers to use this data to power more immersive experiences – without compromising consumer trust. Amazon’s dominance forces competing retailers to evolve. On average, two in five consumers (41%) receive 102 packages from Amazon per week. That number jumps to half for consumers ages 18-25 and 57% for consumers ages 26-35. Social media has grown as a commerce channel… new and more integrated forms of social shopping, like Instagram ads, have been a key tool for retailers. (54% of consumers report using…

Comfort kills. Are you doing something on a daily basis that pushes you a little? by Elise Russell

Creative Mornings Inspirational Quotes

I occasionally attend the monthly meetup with a group called Creative Mornings. After spending some time networking over a cup of coffee and a bite of breakfast, we sit down for a short presentation. Each month the presentation revolves around a theme, such as courage, commitment, broken. Each theme is meant to spark inspiration within ourselves and conversation amongst each other. I have taken some quotes shared by Creative Mornings. I like quotes not only because they can be inspiring but also because often times we want to only read small bits of information. Enjoy! “Anxiety brings with it massive energy and it is what we do with that energy which separates us.” — Laurie-Beth Robbins “The future is crafted by those who do work they don’t have to.” — Scott Belsky “Humility is actually an act of strength. You have to have a really solid core to expose yourself to the discomfort, and to some degree, the suffering, of not being good at something.” — Amy Sandman “Startups don’t die because they run out of money, they die because…

The Mindful Millennial and Cause Marketing

Two of the biggest challenges facing grocery retail in 2018 will be millennials and mindfulness. With unlimited technology literally sitting in most customers pockets, mindfulness is going to be one of the biggest trends in 2018. Pew Research Center has predicted that millennials will surpass baby boomers as the largest living adult generation in 2019. This is changing the landscape of how grocery stores market themselves and do business. Price and quality are very comparable nowadays and millennials look to support causes when they shop. Visibility into the practices of businesses is the clearest it has ever been, so customers (mainly millennials) are now holding stores and companies accountable socially and ethically. 80% of consumers believe that businesses must play a role in addressing societal issues. So what does this all mean for grocery stores?   Two words: Cause Marketing. What is cause marketing? Cause marketing is when a company partners with a charitable organization to address a social or environmental problem. 91% of Americans want more products to support causes. So what can you do? AWG has the partner…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: June 2018 Edition

AWG Brands are welcoming summer with fresh new content, coupons and promotions! Here’s what you can expect on the brands’ digital channels this month: Best Choice Recipe of the Month We turned June’s Recipe of the Month from the 2018 Best Choice Calendar into a new recipe video. You can find it here starting June 1: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/recipe-video-rocky-road-cream-cheese-pie/ The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook or YouTube. The native files which include the word document, original video and graphics of the recipe, can be found in the recipes folder. If you are on the AWG Insignia Program, signs with this recipe will also be delivered to your store during June. This creates a bridge from in-store to online, ensuring a consistent message on both. Digital Coupons New digital coupons are available June 1 – July 31, 2018. Consumers can access these coupons through a store’s loyalty program. If a store does not have a loyalty program, but is interested in setting one up, please…

The Best Way to Ensure a Successful Online Shopping Program

Just like in store, providing high-quality customer service can make or break your online shopping program. In a recent digitaltrends.com article, writer Erika Rawes tries out Walmart’s free grocery pickup service, but waits more than 30 minutes from the time she pulled up to the store to collect her family’s groceries to the time she leaves. Once home, she finds out she was charged for 10 missing items. If I personally had this experience, I doubt I’d try it again and I would guess that I’m not alone. The whole point to offering curbside pickup is to make grocery shopping easier and faster for the customer. Selecting a partner that provides a clean and user-friendly online experience is the first step, but after that, it’s up to your team to provide a pleasant experience for your customer. First, you have to select a personal shopper who knows what they’re doing. They need to know how to pick and handle the freshest produce and other perishable items. As a customer, I’d rather not get a carton of milk (or any perishable…

Word cloud of food words

Some Tips for Your Store to be Easily Found Online

At WordCamp 2018 I attended a session presented by Alyssa Murfey about how to use Google Trends to create a strategic content strategy. “Why do I need a content strategy,” a storeowner may ask? So your customers can find your store’s information easily online. Alyssa has worked with Wendy’s and Tropicana with the same goals in mind. Her approach works well when trying to communicate with the public: leave breadcrumbs behind and customers will think they found you by themselves. She has found a few items to keep in mind that work well together, knowledge of search and social trends, and a general knowledge of popular traffic patterns on your website. Alyssa showed us a free tool to help gain this knowledge about search queries that I hadn’t heard of: Google Trends Type in a subject, find out what words people use related to your subject when doing a search, when and where. For example I typed in “grocery” and found people are searching the term “Convenience store” in Utah during the past day. They are also looking up “camping grocery list”…

Subject Lines, Like Headlines, Are The Only Thing You Read

I attended the Digital Summit – Kansas City on May 16-17. Over two days I was able to see presentation on everything from podcasts to SEO from a variety of industry experts. The highlight for me was a four hour workshop on email. Honestly, I could write 10 blog posts about what I learned from Michael Barber. Perhaps I will in the future. Today we focus on subject lines. I hate to break it to you, but most people aren’t opening your emails. That means the subject line is often the only part of your campaign that anyone reads. They can quite literally make or break an email marketing campaign. How much thought are you putting into subject lines? We all know that the audience is busy and needs a reason to open your email. Should you include prices? For a long time we thought prices were a one way ticket the spam folder. Not only is that not true anymore, but having a price in the subject line increases click-through-rates by 246 percent. “Worth” and “deal” increase 134 and…

Social Media Marketing

What Makes Social Content Great?

In the 4 ½ years I’ve worked for AWG, it’s been surprisingly difficult to get content consistently from the retailers I work with on digital marketing. Whether I’m working with a store owner or director, a department manager, or an up-and-coming associate, I often hear, “I’m not sure what to send you for social media content.” And you’d think it would be a no-brainer. Take pictures of food, of course! Food pictures are all over social media, right? But that’s part of the problem. Even when I do receive content from stores, sometimes it’s just a little too generic. You may have a beautiful produce display that makes for a great picture, but what differentiates it from any other produce display at a grocery store? The more popular social media has become, the more “noise” there is on every channel. You have to make your content stand out so that customers can find it through all that noise. Using these different types of evergreen content can change things up and help you stand out on social. Timely Content Like I…

Before you even think about blogging.

What is Your Website Missing?

Travis Pflanz, co-organizer of WordPress KC meetup group and part of the WordCamp Kansas City organizing team, presented at WordCamp 2018 in a session titled, “Before You Blog: Everything Your WordPress Business Website is Missing”. Because the target audience for WordCamp is users of WordPress, a common platform for blogging, Travis uses the term, “blog”, but these tips apply to any website. It is important to keep the content on a website fresh and up to date. This will keep people coming back to visit your site. Update often, write new text, post new articles. Use calls to action. I thought about what calls of action we could use on grocery store websites. How about a link to listen to a related podcast or video? If appropriate, provide a link to “get more information” or “buy now”. Put the store’s location and phone number in the footer in addition to the Contact page. This way it is visible on every page of the website. State the purpose of your business. As much as people don’t like to read, an in-depth…

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