Study: Grocery retailers missing out by not keeping up with social media
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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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
Hedge fund adds former Home Depot, Staples execs to aid Office Depot fight
New York — A Tuesday report by the Wall Street Journal said that activist hedge fund Starboard Value has added former Home Depot and Chrysler executive Robert Nardelli and ex-Staples vice chairman Joseph Vassalluzzo as advisors – part of Starboard’s plan to make sweeping changes at Office Depot Inc.
According to a Monday filing, Nardelli and Vassalluzzo will provide counsel toward improving Office Depot’s operations and strategies.
Earlier in November, Starboard – Office Depot’s largest common shareholder with a 14.8% ownership stake – denounced the office supply retailer’s adoption of a poison pill rights plan, accusing Office Depot of scheming to limit the influence of shareholders over the board’s composition and company operations.
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J.C. Penney launches nationwide holiday tour
Plano, Texas — J.C. Penney said Tuesday it has launched its nationwide Holiday Giving Tour, which entails a 12-day giving spree during which the retailer carries out acts of generosity in a new city each day.
Events include Christmas tree lighting, ice skating, Santa visits and tobogganing.
The tour kicks off Nov. 27 with a live holiday performance by Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend, followed by free ice skating, skate rentals and hot chocolate in Manhattan’s Citi Pond at Bryant Park.
The tour will conclude on Dec. 8 in Los Angeles with a free holiday concert outside a J.C. Penney store, performed by country artist Blake Shelton.
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