OPERATIONS

Hannaford accelerating store pick-up

BY Gina Acosta

The Hannaford grocery chain is expanding its online shopping service at a rapid pace and recently hit a significant milestone.

The Maine-based retailer recently opened its 25th location with Hannaford To Go. The service is the first of its kind in many regions. After piloting the program successfully in several stores, Hannaford opened 11 additional locations in the past year. The company plans to pursue an aggressive rollout schedule in 2016 as well, based on the success of the program and its popularity with customers.

"Hannaford will continue to innovate and find new ways to meet our shoppers' needs, as their expectations for online shopping grow," said Mark Bradeen, director of e-commerce at Hannaford. "We are committed to providing services that make shopping easier for our customers."

Hannaford To Go customers can order any product found at their local supermarket on Hannaford.com and pick up those items in as little as four hours. Store associates collect groceries from store shelves and load the orders into the shopper's vehicle, so the customer never has to leave the front seat.

Hannaford developed the online interface and also created a proprietary technology for the selection of groceries in-store that makes the order-collection process efficient, fast and accurate.

"Customers tell us how much they appreciate this service, when we do the grocery shopping for them," Bradeen said. "Hannaford To Go is attracting new customers to our stores and strengthening our relationships with shoppers."

Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 188 stores in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

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OPERATIONS

Target names new HR chief

BY Mike Troy

Bold, curious and accountable is the future Target’s new chief human resources officer said she looks forward to helping create.

Eleven year Target veteran Stephanie Lundquist was elevated to the role of executive VP and chief human resources officer, arguably one of the most important positions in a company with nearly 350,000 employees and 1,800 stores.

Lundquist joined Target in 2005 and most recently served as senior vice president of human resources with responsibility for Target’s headquarters team as well as all HR functions for Target India operations. She fills a position previously occupied by Jodee Kozlak and will served as a member of Target’s leadership team reporting to CEO Brian Cornell.

“Stephanie has played a critical leadership role in Target’s transformation efforts, developing and initiating the human resources strategies necessary to drive long-term growth for Target,” said Cornell. “She’s been a leading voice as we push ourselves to think differently and work in new ways across Target. Our outstanding team is one of our key competitive advantages and Stephanie’s continued leadership will be invaluable as we work to further unlock Target’s potential.”

Kozlak will be departing Target after nearly 15 years, having played an integral role during a time of rapid expansion for Target and the increased influence of digital in the business. Most recently, she led the team through the 2013 data breach and onboarded Target’s first external CEO, Brian Cornell, in 2013, the company said in a statement.

“Jodee’s contributions in the past 15 years have made a tremendous impact on Target and our team members globally. I personally want to thank her for building a culture of strong individual and team performance as well as a deep passion for our brand and our guests,” Cornell said.

As for Lundquist, her view is that the Target team has always been the key to the company’s success.

“Our team has embraced and harnessed the changes necessary to compete in the dynamically changing market,” Lundquist said. “I look forward to creating a future that is centered on delivering for our guests and rooted in being bold, curious and accountable. My focus will be on developing the right strategies, capabilities and culture to enable our global team to achieve Target’s goals now and in the future.”

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Insights

Tech Guest Viewpoint: Driving Impulse Buy with Technology

BY Robert Mattson

The term “impulse buy” has a negative connotation to many. Picking up that guilty pleasure snack in the checkout line at the supermarket, that gadget you don’t really need, or those shoes that are on sale all qualify.

But at its core, the impulse buy is when urge meets availability, and it’s what every retailer would like more of. The choreography of the impulse buy is actually similar to a longer, more researched purchase. The primary differences being the length of time from decision to buy to purchase, the lack of second guessing the purchase, and potentially, the cost of the item.

There are waves that are converging that indicate 2016 could be the year when the impulse buy will be more likely than ever before based on a few simple buying drivers. These include the ability of marketers to provide the right offer at precisely the right time and the rise of mobile payment technology.

The impulse buy equation is simple: Increase in Purchase Probability = Attractive Product Message + Targeted to Specific Buyer at the Right Time + Ease of Purchase

Now, buying a new SUV is a lot different than picking up a candy bar at the supermarket check-out, but based on the adoption of new technologies by both vendors and customers, the ability to drive more impulse buy-like behavior could be in our near future. Let’s look at the components of the impulse buy equation.

Attractive Product Message
How attractive a product message is to a consumer depends on many factors, including age, interests and social background. However, marketing’s ability to use Big Data to target both known and unknown users is growing at a rapid rate. An recent IBM study found that 62% of retailers report using Big Data analytics to drive competitive advantage for their businesses.

For example, if analytics show that adults over 40 tend to buy golf clubs and accessories in the afternoon the week before a sunny Saturday in their area, an attractive message could be an email or text offer for a new driver with free shipping sent at lunch on Wednesday.

This same technique can be used through alternate channels such as advertising or content marketing delivered by push notifications through a mobile app or pull delivered by a responsive website available to mobile or desktop visitors.

Targeted to Specific Buyer at the Right Time
Exciting news for retailers is the emergence of Bluetooth beacon technology that promises more instant connectivity to the smartphones of visitors at brick and mortar locations. It is now possible to send a coupon to a shopper passing by sporting goods, or to promote a sale that’s happening between 3:00 and 4:00 PM.

Beacons have great potential to employ similar methods to track a customer’s movements walking through a brick-and-mortar shop just as websites track and react to a visitor clicking through an online store.

Ease of Purchase
The easier it is to buy an item, and the less that purchase is connected to what the customer sees as “real money,” the better it is for the vendor. Amazon has its “One-Click Ordering” which virtually eliminates the customer second guessing a purchase as they review their purchase and shipping information.

And that same approach is now being applied more and more in physical locations with proximity mobile payments. Companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon are rolling out technologies to make mobile buying quicker, easier and more impulse purchase-friendly. An eMarketer.com study predicted that this type of payments will increase from $27 billion in 2016 to $210 billion in 2019.

No one is saying that in the next five years the average consumer is going to impulse buy a new Escalade or pick up a Rolex in the checkout line. But based on the adoption of new technologies, the probability that retailers can leverage impulse buying behaviors both in brick-and-mortar stores and online seems extremely high.



Robert Mattson is Director of Product Marketing at Telerik, a Progress Company.

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