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Logo for Fresh EBT by Propel.

Check out the Fresh EBT app

AWG is working with Fresh EBT to help retailers connect with SNAP shoppers and capture a higher share of EBT spend. We know that EBT recipients are an important segment for many of our members. Nationwide, the SNAP program supports over $70B in grocery purchases, with shoppers spending tens of billions of dollars more outside of the program for food at home. Fresh EBT is a smartphone app that makes it easier for EBT recipients to manage and use their benefits. Over 800,000 people across the country have downloaded the app since it was released in early 2016. Through Fresh EBT users are able budget their benefits, organize shopping trips, and find valuable grocery content. For retailers, Fresh EBT provides direct access to EBT recipients while they are planning and conducting their grocery shopping. Retailers can advertise weekly specials, create sponsored recipes, or simply introduce themselves or share store news. Ads can be targeted by location, as well as shopping history or time of month. Through Fresh EBT, retailers can stay top of mind for EBT recipients. Fresh EBT also offers…

Checkout 51 logo.

Check out the Checkout 51 app

Checkout 51 is a new offering for AWG retailers. This new app allows customers to earn cash back from purchases made at your store. Retailers can make a product list with offers. Shoppers then buy those items and earn money back. Retailers have the ability to target customers with specific deals. This allows retailers to “get the right deal to the right person at the right time to increase visits, basket size, and share of the basket.” In a time when everyone is trying to capture the millennial dollar, Checkout 51 will give retailers a leg up. Younger shoppers are more likely to use an app to find specials than a weekly circular. Currently, shoppers will upload a photo of their receipt to earn their cash back. However, through T-Log integration, you can eliminate this step. This integration will give shoppers a choice of how they want to receive their savings. They can choose between savings at the register or they can earn a refund through the app. Retailers then have the option of sending Checkout 51 a full transaction log…

Mobile Phone home screen shortcuts

Mobile Phone Website Shortcuts

I’ve talked to a couple of our retailers lately who have asked for a way for customers to create a shortcut on their mobile phones that take them straight to the store’s website. The shortcut appears on the phone’s home screen the same way an icon to a mobile app appears. Based on which phone version you have, the steps may vary slightly but I am including them here for both the iPhone and Android.   iPhone Open website in Safari After the website loads, touch the share icon at the bottom of the phone screen.   Touch the Add to Home Screen button.   Touch the Add link at the top of the screen.   The icon appears on the phone’s home screen.   Android Open website in browser After the website loads, touch the More or Menu link in the upper right corner of the phone screen.   When the menu appears, touch Add Shortcut on Home Screen link.   The icon appears on the phone’s home screen.  

Coffee with Cart Graphic.

Star Trek gadgets could work today with an open mind

“3D printed food you can eat,” makes me think of the “replicator” in Star Trek. The Replicator seemed like a magical device with the ability to make something out of nothing. I had forgotten the Replicator used technology from the transporter. This means the replicator actually found whatever you ordered and sent it to you. Quickly.   At the end of a long day, I read the article mentioned in a recent Coffee with CART about the 3D edible food printer “Foodini”. Reading the article helped me shed my Star Trek Replicator assumptions and first off, I wasn’t impressed. I left work thinking “Big deal, somebody figured out how to fit a cookie factory into a box the size of a microwave, and it doesn’t even cook! Why would any of our retailers be interested?” It takes me 20-30 minutes to drive home from work, so I tend to relax some during this time. I started to think of factories that produce food. Basically, food goes in, it gets rearranged, and then packaged food comes out. Why do we have factories? To mass-produce. Now lets…

Coffee with Cart Graphic.

We’re in the “Betamax” of online shopping

There was a time, in the early 1980’s, when families had to make some hard decisions on how to best spend their home entertainment dollars. They wanted the freedom to watch movies at home on their own schedule. The question was should we get a “Betamax” or “VHS” player? For a while you could rent a movie in either format. But slowly Betamax cassettes began to fade away. Today, in 2016 we find ourselves in a similar predicament only in the grocery industry. Which online shopping method is going to be the future VHS? Instead of two choices we now have several. Here are a few that were discussed in last weeks Coffee with CART with Sterling and Schuyler Hawkins. Let’s see what other retailers are doing… Instacart: Several retailers in southern California are partnering with Instacart to combat the Aldi invasion. For a grocery customer to use Instacart, they first need to know which stores are partners. They go to the website using any mobile device, find their store, pick their items, schedule the delivery and groceries should show up in a…

Avoiding the Mobile Overload

It’s no secret that retailers across industries have to be present in the mobile world. Long gone are the days of websites that are only easy to use desktop computers, mobile payment mechanisms continue to grow, and offers delivered directly to a consumer’s phone triggered by their proximity to beacons in store are coming quickly. The real question becomes how to marketers leverage all of these opportunities without burning out the consumer? The answer is: have a strategy to use these new forms of technology instead of just assuming all of them will work. When it comes to websites, the challenge these days is to know what kind of device your consumers will be using to access it. More than ever, smartphones are becoming not only the screen of choice for consumers, but often times the only screen they have other than their TV. Yet, even on smartphones, there are some with smaller screens and some that are virtually tablets in their dimensions. Having a website that responds to that screen size is vital. This responsiveness gives the consumer the…

Apple Pay logo.

Coffee with CART: 9/10 Recap

I know many retailers are tired of hearing about the importance of having a online identity for their stores. It might seem we are trying to get our members ready for the demise of their bricks and mortar stores. A recent session of Coffee with CART made a big point that proves otherwise. The more that happens online, the more important bricks and mortar stores are. Stores now have a choice of multiple online tools to get their brand out among consumers. The amount of tools to use is growing FAST, with no breaks or time outs. All of these tools are used to influence shoppers because purchases now START online. Notice they didn’t say all purchases end online because people still need to have a physical shopping experience. 64% shoppers say they need better customer service in order to make a purchase. US adults spend 2 hours and 51 minutes a day on their mobile devices. What are these US adults doing with their mobile time? They are providing their own customer service by researching for future purchases, which is…

Millennial Shopper Taking Grocery Selfie

Marketing to Millennials as a Grocery Retailer

By 2017, Millennials will have more spending power than any other age group. For retailers, catering to Millennials is critical because they are setting the agenda for the food retailing industry. So what factors influence Millennials’ purchasing decisions? Millennials shop for low prices. Millennials are more in debt than any other generation. We’re paying off massive college loans, so saving money and budgeting is important to us. 85% of Millennials will change brands based on price and 56% will switch brands to save money off coupons. Convenient location is a major factor for Millennials as most shop at the grocery store closest to their residence or place of work. Very few Millennials will go out of their way to shop at a particular grocery store that is not located nearby. Millennials spend an average of 3 hours and 34 minutes browsing the Internet per day, so a retailer’s web presence is important. Not only should you have a website for your store, you should have a good website with an interactive weekly ad, shopping list, coupons, recipes, and more. Retailers should also…

Mobile phone rising out of magic hat.

Changing Mobile Phone Habits

Technology has a habit of changing family traditions. For example, televisions changed dinnertime for many families. Popular TV shows would be scheduled to air during dinnertime, so how did we adapt? TV dinners! When people started getting electricity in their homes, we started staying up later. The telephone even helped change migration patterns because family members could move further away from each other but still communicate quickly. Waiting 3 months for a reply to a letter you sent is hard to imagine. Some of the habits people formed around new technologies can make those without not want to get involved, or as little as possible to get by. Any habit in excess can make a person annoying, ridiculous or even dangerous. Setting too close to the TV can hurt your eyes. Constant talking on the phone makes it hard for other family members to use the phone, and promotes gossip. Reading all night makes it hard to concentrate the next day. So it stands to reason why this Mobilegeddon craze can be something you might want to ease into. People…

mobile responsive website

Mobilegeddon Solution

Last month Google rolled out a new algorithm, a mobile friendly update that is expected to affect traffic to websites. Because of the new algorithm, known as “Mobilegeddon”, Google is indirectly penalizing websites that are not mobile responsive or mobile friendly by not placing them as high in their search ranking. According to an internet trends report by Mary Meeker, Mobile Internet use is growing faster than Internet usage in general: There are 2.8 billion Internet users, up 8 percent from 2014, and 2.1 billion mobile Internet users, an increase of 23 percent. I attended a 4-day training class on Mobile Web App Development. Without getting into too much detail about Javascript, media queries and pixels, I will say we learned some tips and some logic behind mobile responsive web design. Once upon a time developers created two or three websites, all with similar content but each site included images and text sizes based on the size screen the website was viewed on. That takes a lot of design and development time. Now we use so many devices, which have…