After Amazon bought Whole Foods, marketers in the grocery space have been motivated to innovate more than ever before.
Because grocery stores sell food, a recurring need for people to survive, there’s an opportunity to add ease to an activity that already exists in consumers’ lives. The easier it is to shop for essentials, the more customers who are looking for a seamless experience will be more loyal to a brand.
Innovation in this space now comes in many forms for consumers: curbside pick up from a supermarket, ordering from a third-party aggregator like Instacart, or subscribing to food subscription boxes such as HelloFresh.
Many grocery stores are offering rewards through loyalty programs on mobile apps incentivizing people to keep coming back for good deals rather than going somewhere else. Within these apps, marketers are able to highlight certain products that people might be more apt to buy.
For a better understanding of how large grocery store brands are using all of this to their advantage, we’ve compiled a list of what they’re doing:
This store’s mobile app offers “never-ending low prices now at your fingertips,” according to ALDI’s description.
The app includes updates with the latest price reductions, lowest prices, and the newest products. Additionally, customers can create shopping lists, find stores near them and utilize a QR code reader.
To shop at Costco, customers must enroll in one of the store’s membership programs, ranging from executive, business and gold star. Each membership comes with a different price and correlating number of perks.
There’s also a Costco Mobile App where people can access their membership card from the home page of the app. Members can also have items delivered straight to their door by ordering through the app. Additionally, consumers can receive the latest Warehouse Savings right to their device.
The rewards program, MyThyme, offers access to personalized deals, rewards, digital copies of your receipts and a shopping list feature.
Rewards are earned by purchasing a particular product a certain number of times, to earn either free products or discounts. If a reward is available, simply scan your MyThyme barcode at checkout each time you purchase a qualifying product.
The loyalty program offered by this grocery store is called Giant Choice Rewards because “you choose how you use your rewards.”
Consumers can view weekly earn offers. These offers are new every week and are personalized for each person. People get a point for every dollar spent (with a few exclusions) earn more when you buy participating products featured in their weekly earn offers. Points can then be redeemed for one or more rewards. Consumers can choose between discounts at the pump, dollars off your total bill, and special offers.
Consumers are able to save on gas and food with Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks®, which is a free program for shoppers. People can earn discounts on gas when they purchase designated products at Hy-Vee. Customers are also able to earn great perks – including access to exclusive deals and rewards.
With a Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks® membership comes special offers, digital deals targeted to shopping lists, surprise savings and the chance for random rewards such as a kitchen makeover, vacation packages or even a car. These special offers and surprise savings will be loaded to the shopper’s card.
Kroger offers a rewards card and check card all in one. Instead of writing a check, people are able to swipe their Kroger Rewards Debit Card, enter a PIN, and the funds will be taken out of their checking or savings account.
Additionally, the Kroger fuel points program helps customers save on fuel every time they shop. Whenever customers shop at Kroger and use their shopper’s card, they earn one fuel point for every $1 you spend. These points are then redeemable at Kroger Fuel Centers.
Meijer wants to streamline its customers’ shopping experience through their mPerks rewards and coupons. People are able to track their total savings, view receipts, find products and make shopping lists.
Each time customers use mPerks at checkout, their shopping receipts will be added to their mPerks account automatically. They can even go paperless and skip the printed receipt at checkout.
People can earn valuable discounts and savings through the Piggly Wiggly Rewards Card.
Customers are able to use the “Pig Points” program, which gives them the opportunity to earn discounts on store items and fuel. There are lots of ways to earn Pig Points and the more a person earns, the more a person can save.
Publix has a mobile app that makes it “fast, easy, and convenient to plan shopping trips instantly, find the latest deals, order online, find meal inspiration, and much more.”
This app is designed to help consumers “shop with pleasure no matter where you are.” Customers can add items to their shopping list by scanning barcodes or look up more info with QR codes.
Because Publix uses Instacart, people can have their groceries and essentials delivered to their home. On top of that, consumers can also use curbside pickup at select locations and have their groceries delivered right to their car.
Customers can maximize their Safeway savings with their “easy-to-use” app. The store claims people can find over $300 in weekly discounts, get sale information, earn fuel rewards and much more.
Safeway customers can also have their purchases delivered or available for curbside pickup. Delivery on the first online orders is free.
According to the company website: “We reward your loyalty by pricing our products as low as they can go every single day. No coupons or club cards needed… ever. At Trader Joe's, we believe loyalty is something we have to earn, every day, with every customer.”
Walmart is trying to make it easy for everyone who shops at their store with their mobile app. Consumers are able to record and reorder their favorite products, while also creating shopping lists.
Shoppers can utilize Walmart Pay by opening their app in-store and entering their PIN. Plus it’s possible for customers to order online and choose a store from which they’d like to pick up their products. The company’s website states, “Stop by, we’ll have it ready for you, and you’ll be on your way!”
With a Wegmans Shoppers Club membership, consumers can utilize digital coupons based on what they buy most, create shopping lists organized by aisle and benefit from special member-only mailings.
Members of this rewards program can use points for savings on groceries in our stores. To be eligible to use points, a member must have at least 100 points in his or her Winn-Dixie rewards account. That’s not all, Winn-Dixie offers a fuel rewards program to its members.
There are “more deals than ever for Prime members” at Whole Foods. Now there are even more weekly deals, from organic produce to Animal Welfare Rated meat to grocery staples. Plus, members get an extra 10% off hundreds of sale items.
The store’s website warns: “You’re gonna need a bigger cart.”
Yet if customers don’t want to face having to go into a store and grabbing said cart, they can benefit from a free 2-hour delivery service.
Because these stores are selling a need, there’s a built-in stickiness that marketers in this space can leverage that others in retail aren’t able to. It’s just up to them on creating the most seamless experience for a loyal customer.