Supermarket chain acts local, thinks personal
In an effort to stay competitive in a field crowded with big players, 27-unit, Minneapolis-based grocery retailer Lunds & Byerlys is creating a highly personalized omnichannel experience.
Lunds & Byerleys is partnering with omnichannel commerce technology provider Unata to launch a new e-commerce and digital customer engagement program. The seamless experience-based program is currently live in six locations with subsequent stores to be rolled out by the end of March.
The grocer is offering features including one-to-one personalization across the entire shopping experience, from home page to catalogue to search to product recommendations. During each step of the shopping journey, shoppers will see the most relevant items based on their individual purchase history and ongoing transactions.
The new digital customer experience also allows shoppers to organize and browse the entire product catalogue by any combination of filters, such as previously purchased or on sale. Customers can also sort through products based on factors including popularity, personal relevance, date of last purchase, and pricing.
On the back end, Unata’s platform includes order management, content targeting and customer service tools through a management and analytics dashboard. Lunds & Byerlys staff can use real-time analytics to target and manage promoted content to customers, as well as manage online orders in real time.
“We have been incredibly pleased with the process and partnership with Unata,” said Kevin Baartman, VP of IS at Lund Food Holdings, Inc. “We strive to provide a unique shopping experience for every single Lunds & Byerlys customer, and we are confident the new, comprehensive e-commerce platform will help us provide that experience. We’re looking forward to getting the remainder of the stores live soon.”
Regional grocer mitigates supply chain risk
Supply chain issues are a potential threat for any retailer, but grocery chains need to be particularly vigilant in tracking products from source to shelf.
High-profile product recalls in recent years have resulted in brand damage, lawsuits, and even prison terms for executives of companies involved. While the source brands typically face more regulatory and legal ramifications, it is still wise for retailers of produce and other food items to invest in technologies that use automation to minimize the likelihood or impact of such events.
Thus St. Cloud, Minnesota-based Coborn’s Inc. has chosen ReposiTrak to manage regulatory and business documentation compliance within its supply chain. Coborn’s operates a chain of 54 Coborn’s, Cash Wise Foods and Save-A-Lot grocery stores in the upper Midwest, along with convenience, liquor and pharmacies.
Powered by parent company Park City Group’s technology, the ReposiTrak platform consists of two systems. Compliance Management receives, stores and shares documentation, and also manages compliance through dashboards and alerts for missing or expired documents. Track & Trace identifies product ingredients and their supply chain path in the event of a product recall, and can identify backward chaining sources and forward chaining recipients of products in near real time.
“For over 95 years, shoppers have trusted our stores to provide them with safe, quality food,” said Chris Coborn, president and CEO of Coborn’s. “We were looking for an automated system that would enable us to better manage our growing list of compliance documentation and help protect Coborn’s brand equity.”
Amazon goes to the movies to promote its original programming
Amazon will be promoting its growing portfolio of original content available to Prime members on 20,000 movies screens after reaching a multi-year agreement with National CineMedia.
National CineMedia (NCM) is a holding company controlled by a consortium of theaters owners that sells advertising on a network of 1,617 theaters with 20,361 screens. Amazon reached a multi-year agreement with NCM to participate in the company’s FirstLook program which will allow it to entice moviegoers with two minutes segments of Prime content during an approximately 20 to 25 minutes window ahead of a movie’s advertised start time.
"We are excited to be working with NCM," said Mike Benson, head of marketing for Amazon Studios. "Their movie-going audience appreciates innovative, premium entertainment and we are anxious to expose our award-winning Amazon Original television programming to these influential viewers."
Amazon's debut long-form content pieces for NCM's FirstLook pre-show featured a look at the new season of the Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman comedy Mozart in the Jungle. In March, Amazon will give moviegoers a behind-the-scenes look at season two of the drama Bosch, starring Titus Weaver as LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch. Also highlighted will be the Annecy, Annie and multi-Emmy award-winning Tumble Leaf, a whimsical series aimed at preschoolers from Bix Pix Entertainment.
"Moviegoers are the most engaged and enthusiastic audiences out there, so of course the perfect place for Amazon to reach new fans is at the movie theater," said Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing for NCM, a company with 2015 annual revenues of $446 million. "Movie and TV marketing have always had a great symbiotic relationship, and now with the many new ways to enjoy entertainment programming through Amazon, it's the logical next step in the evolution of media to expand that relationship to include streaming video as well."
It’s also a logical step to help Amazon bring more customers in the Prime program which requires a $99 annual membership fee. Although best known as offering free two-day shipping, an ever more robust offering of high quality content has become an important component of the value proposition.