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ADA documentation

WordCamp recap – ADA

Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in the year 1990, some companies have been slow to get on board with its requirements. The act is a federal legislation that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The act applies to not only brick and mortar stores but also the online arena. In the beginning, ADA was enforced for public-facing websites and government websites. There are 3 levels of requirements and each state followed their specified level. I don’t know the reason it has taken so long for companies to get onboard with ADA. I think a lot of them didn’t even know it existed. It wasn’t until Winn Dixie was sued for having a website that did not meet ADA compliancy, that grocery stores started to research what they needed to do to meet compliance. At WordCamp this year, I attended a couple sessions that addressed ADA. In the presentation, “ADA Accessibility: A Necessary Part of Your WordPress Site”, Lora Williams explains why we should make a website accessible. Companies and people are facing lawsuits if their site is…

Best Buy employee assisting a customer

Adobe Summit Recap – How Best Buy is Competing with Amazon

I recently watched a keynote session from this year’s Adobe Summit. Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe, sat down to chat with Hubert Joly, the CEO of Best Buy. Joly shared some innovative ideas that may encourage any retailer who feels their business has been disrupted by the digital world. Seven years ago, Best Buy knew they needed to do something so they didn’t “die” to Amazon. They had to find a way to reach customers other than by selling them a product. They discovered customers were coming into their store to shop for products and then leaving the store to buy those products from Amazon. To discourage that, Best Buy started price matching Amazon. This was part of their Renew Blue, a marketing campaign about rebuilding the company and fixing what was broken. They also invested resources into their website and online shopping capabilities. They now ship as fast as Amazon does, for FREE. And they’ve invested in their employees to improve the customer’s in-store experience. Then came the marketing campaign, Building The New Blue, which is about reinventing…

Communicating in a Smart and Connected City

Communicating in a Smart & Connected City – PRSA recap

Chris Hernandez, chief spokesperson for the City of Kansas City, Missouri and director of the City Communications Office, spoke at a recent PRSA luncheon. Chris’ office handles media relations, social media, the city’s website and community engagement. He shared with us some progress Kansas City has made with technology and why he sees it as a smart city. What is a Smart City? It is a city that uses creative engagement and technology to reach residents, improve sustainability and enhance the quality and performance of its services such as energy, utilities and transportation. Chris says, “It’s not about technology. It’s about delivering better services for our city.” Kansas City, Missouri is a leader when it comes to having services for our residents, compared to other cities in the metro.  Why is Kansas City considered a Smart City? Google Fiber Street car Smart street lights Bird electric scooters and bike sharing Use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) For those who have been affected by recent flooding, they might be relieved to hear the city is currently in the process…

Purpose: Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Millennial shoppers will soon be the biggest purchasing group in the United States and are estimated to spend $600 billion each year. So, what does this mean to you? The marketing landscape is changing and you will now need to focus on the needs of the millennial generation. What do millennials want in a company? In a recent study they found that 81% of millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to charitable causes and citizenship. Traditionally consumers just “wanted” companies to incorporate social good into their business model but have come to expect it in recent years. In fact, 90% of Americans say they are more likely to trust and stay loyal to stores that actively try and make a difference. Now more than ever it is important to portray and actively pursue a socially responsible image. Studies have also shown that 88% of consumers would buy a product with a social or environmental benefit and an astounding 84% would tell friends and family about the companies cause. Turning your customers into your personal marketeers. Along those same…

Save-A-Label Success

The Save-A-Label program helps more than 9,000 non-profit organizations and schools raise $300,000+ each year. It’s a simple fundraising program that AWG retailers can promote to help their customers support the organizations that are important to them. The program is simple to use. If you’re not sure how it works, you can click here to learn more about it, but basically customers clip Best Choice labels and submit them to AWG for cash for their organizations. The program has been successful for decades. It hasn’t changed much since its invention, so we decided to survey our customers to see if there are any ways we can improve it. Through two rounds of surveys (one emailed to people who have signed their organizations up for the Save-A-Label program, and the second round emailed to our general Best Choice subscriber list and posted on the Best Choice social media sites), we discovered the great parts and the pain points of the program. Thank you to the 553 people who completed the survey! Here’s what they had to say: Do you actively use…

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…

The Market Hall in Rotterdam

Tips for Grocery Shopping

This morning a blog post was shared on my Twitter timeline, 50 Tips for Grocery Shopping. I figured anyone who took the time to come up with a 50 item list had put some serious thought into things. I wondered how retailers could use the tips from this family of seven to improve their shopper experience. Check out the full list, but here are some of the highlights 1. Always go with a list. If you go without a list, you may as well just throw your money away. Better yet, donate it to me — I probably need it more than you. 🙂 Seriously, though, you need to prepare a list of everything you need, pulling from your weekly menu (next tip) and checking to make sure you don’t have it in your pantry, fridge or freezer. Make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Now stick to that list. The number one tip was about list making. In fact, 10 percent of the tips were list related. How are you making it easier for customers to make lists? Most retailers…

Kindness + Empathy = Loyalty

Adobe MAX 2017 Recap: Building Fun, Creative Work Environments

Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Creative Mornings and owner of SwissMiss design blog and studio, was one of the speakers at Adobe MAX this year. She talked about some of the values she bases her companies on, her approach to being a leader and her favorite interview questions. She is genuine and inspiring and has a unique way of building fun and creative work environments. Tina was trained as a graphic designer in Switzerland and Germany but had a dream to go to New York City. She recalls the business owner who hired her for her first job in NY and continues to show gratitude toward him. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward Becoming a mom inspired Tina to pursue other dreams she had in life, such as starting her own design studio and her own blog. She says, “I’m a better boss because I’m a mom and I’m a better mom because I’m a boss. Both of these roles force you to really think about what…

Graphic: editors and community support

Be a good neighbor

Price and selection aren’t the only ways to attract customers to your stores. It is also important to be a quality members of the community. There are plenty of things to handle each day and community outreach is easy to shove down the list as other things pop up. However, don’t sacrifice the important for the immediate. Apples for the Students and Making Change are two programs offered by AWG to give retailers an opportunity to impact their communities. Apples has shoppers turn in their receipts to their school to raise money for classroom supplies. Making Change allows customers to donate money to local causes at your registers. Both programs are easy to start and maintain. Not only that, but they are a great opportunity to show how you are involved in community. You think big national chains take the time to support local causes? Take advantage and show how much your store cares for its neighbors.

Grocer Pod – Episode 1

 The debut episode of Associated Wholesale Pod features conversations with Heather Standifer, Kurt Kloeben, and Kevin Phipps. Sean Kosednar starts the show with how your store can integrate into the community. Also discusses Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, National Ice Cream Month and how traditional retailers can stay competitive in the digital landscape.