5 keys to online grocer success

A brand can rule in traditional retail environments. However, in the world of online, the strength of a brand is far from assured. It’s a point that is often overlooked in the hype around the digital shopper marketing space.

Traditional retail outlets often receive the full focus of marketing and sales teams. Availability is the primary focus for all marketers and shopper marketers in particular.

However, increasingly shoppers are moving their purchases from regular retail stores to online. This is a challenge for brands, in terms of availability.

For decades, we have seen sales teams work tirelessly to secure shelf availability. Accordingly, online availability should be a primary concern for these teams.

Whilst online grocers can potentially offer any and every product in a variety of brand offerings, the reality is that most shoppers can’t handle the sheer volume of information.

In fact, shoppers often only see a small portion of the products on offer. This selection is driven by search terms and purchase history. The online shopper wants the process to be quick and easy, so they generally only browse one page. This means that if their search brings up a diverse selection, the shopper may be tempted to try another brand or enact another form of substitution.

So, how do you cut through the deluge of online grocer offerings when the range is just unending? Here are five key pointers to assist you in getting better results.

1 A is for Availability

In the same way, just as this is a primary concern of sales teams in traditional retail, the same should apply to online. Your brand has to be immediately visible. Create KPIs by which you can measure your success.

2 Become a search term guru

Brand managers, shopper marketers, trade marketing teams, key account managers – you need to own this space. You need to define and determine search terms key to brands. You need to understand how your shoppers are searching for products. You need to ensure your brands and core SKUs are getting noticed every time against your chosen search terms. Get to grips with this and own it!

3 Target your shopper

Pages will differ for every user. What people see will be based on their preferences and purchase history. As the algorithm that drives what is presented to the shopper gets more complicated, so the number of pages will explode exponentially.

Therefore you need to get super targeted. Collaborate with your digital team, learn from them, and understand and take control of the target segment.

4 This is the disruptive age.

Therefore, it stands to reason that if you do not dominate a search term, disrupt it. Find a way to use other elements on the page to draw attention to your brand and win trialists.

5 Seriously. Get serious

Shopping has changed forever. Shoppers are switching channels all the time. However, the reality is that supermarkets are going to lose more and more traffic to online retail formats.

Commercial teams need to buy into this and recognise it is imperative that they win online with shoppers.

You need to get to grips with analytics that help understand search terms as well as segmentation. Invest in the capabilities of the team so that you are able to fully capture opportunities as they arise.

The truth of the matter is that online shopping is now mainstream. Therefore, it requires a mainstream approach.

If you would like to learn more about digital availability as well as Toby’s experiences with online availability when shopping for a leading brand, login or sign-up to listen to this podcast on digital availability.

January 28, 2019

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