OPERATIONS

Study: Grocery retailers missing out by not keeping up with social media

BY Staff Writer

San Antonio — The grocery industry, for the most part, lags in using online shopper insights for shopper and competitive advantage, according to a study developed in partnership with BeaconUnited, a national grocery broker, and ArchPoint Consulting, and powered by business intelligence firm Black Pearl Intelligence. Grocery-related social media conversations are now estimated at 10 million annually, yet many grocers are still slow to respond, the study found.

“Consumers can benefit as more grocers, brokers and manufacturers proactively engage customers online,” said Jesse Edelman, chief marketing officer, BeaconUnited. “The key is giving the industry resources to access, understand and proactively respond to the rich social media insights.”

The study, Grocery Study: Social Media as a Competitive Advantage, identifies digital data opportunities to drive sales for retailers or manufacturers and reveal real-time emerging trends on a national, regional and local level — or geo-focusing. The study reveals how vocal customers are in sharing what they love, hate and have gotten at a bargain at grocery stores.

The study identified a few grocery chains that are already social media conversation influencers. Using the social media Klout score, a measurement of influence on a zero to 100-point scale based on ability to drive action in social networks, the category leader was Whole Foods Market, with a Klout score of 86. Kroger has a score of 49. Publix has a Klout score of 53. Leading regional grocery chains, like Meijer and H-E-B and many others, have Klout scores of 0.

In the study, one customer’s bad review of kitty litter received 89 hits. With 89 other individuals engaged in a conversation about kitty litter, potential for negative product reviews increased significantly. Such intelligence provides manufacturers with priceless insights into how to improve the product and alerts the grocer to respond.

“Responding proactively to customer social media comments is not an option anymore for the grocery industry. It’s an imperative,” Edelman said.

The study identifies opportunities for the grocery category to use digital data with customized dashboards and to model and geo-focus on emerging trends at either the national, regional and local level.

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J.Lawrence says:
Apr-19-2013 10:50 am

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J.Lawrence says:
Apr-19-2013 10:50 am

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Feb-08-2013 12:27 pm

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J.Jeffbuskelly says:
Feb-08-2013 12:27 pm

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A.Harings says:
Dec-10-2012 10:49 pm

Social Media
Another great social media example is a grocery store out of Wisconsin called Festival Foods. They make use of a company blog which gives customers recipe and gift ideas. Facebook allows them to network with their customers, and Twitter provides updates for their followers. Obviously this is what these social media platforms are for, but it is rare for a grocery retailer to be so interactive online. This is especially nice to build relationships and customer loyalty. Definitely something we expect to see more of in the future. Alyssa Harings Date Check Pro Interactive Marketing Manager Intern www.datecheckpro.com

A.Harings says:
Dec-10-2012 10:49 pm

Another great social media example is a grocery store out of Wisconsin called Festival Foods. They make use of a company blog which gives customers recipe and gift ideas. Facebook allows them to network with their customers, and Twitter provides updates for their followers. Obviously this is what these social media platforms are for, but it is rare for a grocery retailer to be so interactive online. This is especially nice to build relationships and customer loyalty. Definitely something we expect to see more of in the future. Alyssa Harings Date Check Pro Interactive Marketing Manager Intern www.datecheckpro.com

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FINANCE

Consumer confidence rises to four-year high in November

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report released Tuesday by the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence rose in November to the highest level in more than four years.

The confidence index climbed to 73.7, the highest since February 2008, from a revised 73.1 reading the prior month, indicating that U.S. household spending will keep growing.

A median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a reading of 73.

“Confidence is holding up well,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, told Bloomberg. “Spending is going to continue to increase. This bodes well for the fourth quarter.”

The gain in confidence may have been restrained by a plunge in the Middle Atlantic region, the area covering New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania that was most affected by superstorm Sandy. That area’s index dropped 14.6 points to a three-month low of 54.2.

Among other measures, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index climbed in November to a five- year high, while the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index last week hovered near the strongest point in seven months.

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FINANCE

ShopperTrak: Foot traffic up 8.2% during ‘Black Weekend’

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — ShopperTrak reported Tuesday that it estimates retail foot traffic over the Black Weekend shopping period rose 8.2% year-over-year. That equates to more than 594 million store visits between Thursday and Monday.

Retail sales increased 2.7%, with shoppers spending about $22 billion across the weekend’s four days. Thursday’s "door-buster" deals drove sales and traffic earlier in the weekend.

"Shoppers follow value. And this year, for the first time, retailers presented significant value for shopping on Thanksgiving Day," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "So even though retail sales were slightly down on Black Friday, traffic and sales for the weekend as a whole increased over 2011."

Last year, "Black Weekend" (Thursday through Sunday) accounted for 8.6% of sales during the entire holiday season of November and December. According to Martin, the importance of a single shopping day such as "Black Friday" may be changing as retailers promote the holiday season earlier and expand promotions across more days.

"The Monday through Wednesday before Thanksgiving had foot traffic increases as well," said Martin. "This indicates that some retailers are turning ‘Black Friday’ into a week-long event, and more consumers are visiting stores earlier in the week."

During "Black Weekend" 2011, shoppers spent $21.4 billion, compared to this year’s $22 billion. Though Friday’s sales dipped a bit, both Saturday and Sunday saw foot traffic and sales increases when compared to last year.

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