Digitization in the Food Retail Industry

3 Ways, How Grocery Marketers can Create Powerful and Relevant Content

For a long time it seemed like grocery stores might be safe from the disruptive impact of online shopping. But now, even your groceries can be delivered to your home. No more standing in line, no more carrying heavy shopping bags. You don’t even have to get out of bed anymore to buy groceries. Does that mean local supermarkets are dead? We don’t think so. Who doesn’t love walking through the supermarket aisles filling your shopping cart with all the junk food you promised to cut out this year? In fact, 70 percent of shoppers prefer purchasing their groceries in store, according to a study from PwC and only around a quarter of American households buy at least some groceries online, according to CNBC.

Consumers’ shopping behavior is changing and the rules for grocery marketing are not the same as they used to be. If local grocery stores want to stay competitive amidst all these developments and the highly competitive industry, marketers need to create marketing content that is relevant for their customers. However, more than 70 percent will engage with online food shopping within 10 years, according to “The Digitally Engaged Food Shopper” report.

Nielsen found consumers are five times more dependent on content than they were five years ago. Forrester also reported that the average consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase. Here are 3 ways how grocery marketers can create powerful and relevant content for their marketing campaigns.

1. Create personalized content with the help of Retail Analytics

No one likes getting advertisement that doesn’t suit their specific needs. Traditional grocery marketing strategies mostly focus on promoting sales offers and advertising well-known food brands. But consumer expectations today are calling for more personalized shopping experiences. While cheaper prices stay one of the main purchasing reasons, consumers are becoming less loyal to specific brands. Modern-day consumers are willing to try multiple brands in the same product category which makes it harder for supermarkets to use brands as incentives to bring customers into their stores. Instead of just promoting certain brands to a general audience, grocery stores have to start understanding the specific needs of their audience and switch to more personalized offers.


While online stores have had a huge competitive advantage over traditional physical shops in the past because of their access to huge data pools of historic customer purchasing behavior, brick-and-mortar stores now can collect the same data in their physical stores thanks to modern technology. With the help of retail analytics, grocery stores can track shopping behavior in their stores and gain insights into customers’ buying patterns. These insights help to identify customer segments and thus, create more relevant content for these segments that speaks to their specific wishes and needs. Since grocery stores have a wide range of products it’s easy for shoppers to overlook the items they might have wanted. Retail analytics technology allows grocery stores to send their store visitors personalized digital ads about products they care about and thus, create a more relevant marketing experience than ever.

2. Focus on digital marketing and use social media as a platform

If grocery retailers want to create a more relevant marketing experience for their customers they will have to advertise their products online. While traditional marketing channels such as print and TV are still very important for grocery marketers, it is the internet that allows marketers to create personalized and relevant content for customers. Since food brands are not enough to create customer loyalty, grocery retailers have to find a different way to establish long-term relationships with customers. The key is authenticity and social media is the perfect platform to show your brand’s vision and values. Don’t just advertise your products but tell a story that customers can relate to instead. Social networks are a great way to interact with customers and give them the information they really want. Read and answer customer comments, ask customers to share their stories connected to the content you have posted before and most importantly: keep it interactive. Whole Foods Market is pretty active on the most relevant Social Media channels to keep their fans and customers engaged.

Whole Foods Market
Picture: Whole Foods Market

Not only is this a great way to bond with your target audience, but social media is also a great CRM tool that gives you access to valuable consumer information and will help you find out what your customers really want to know from you.

3. Provide helpful and transparent content

Last but not least, your marketing content has to be helpful and transparent for customers. A study out of Dalhousie University found that 63 percent of consumers feel the claims made on food packaging doesn’t necessarily align with what they’re eating. Millennials are one of the most important demographics for marketers. According to Progressive Grocer, three-fourths of Millennials want to become better cooks, but don’t want to learn through old-fashioned cookbooks. This is a huge potential for grocery marketers to create relevant content: increase customer engagement by providing helpful, informational content in form of pictures and tutorial videos. When consumers read about new recipes or cooking tips, they are more likely to visit the grocery stores that inspired them. A great way to integrate your social media strategy is to partner with social influencers and bloggers.

The digital transformation of grocery retail has changed consumer behavior drastically

Traditional marketing strategies alone don’t work anymore and retailers need to adapt if they want to survive. Understand who your target audience is and what information they really want to know. With the help of retail analytics you can collect valuable consumer data from your stores and use it to create relevant content that caters to the specific needs of your customers. Keep your content visual and educational. In order to increase brand loyalty, you need to be authentic and transparent in your presentation. Use your social media pages to interact with customers and increase engagement in order to inspire people with fresh ideas and receipts. With these tips in mind your marketing strategy will be a sure success.