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How To Beat Online Competition?

Grocery Store Marketing Ideas

Retail transactions initiated and completed online afford customers, wholesalers, retailers, and even manufacturers, the luxury of conducting business anywhere at their own convenience. With speed and accuracy, operations can be carried out smoothly - one can see the challenge traditional independent grocers face. The concerns about falling traffic in your stores are genuine, as over 71% of consumers trust that they can find better prices online. 

So how do you, as a traditional retailer, survive and, most importantly, thrive amidst the disruption and turbulence caused by eCommerce? How you beat an assault from the eCommerce competition. Below are some retail marketing strategy ideas to increase sales in brick-and-mortar stores.

The first key to survival is to retain and increase foot traffic in your store - this is one of the most critical parts of your store marketing strategy. The good news is that 94% of retail sales are still conducted in brick-and-mortar stores. Even with the ease of eCommerce, people still prefer a physical experience, a relationship, or an interaction with the product or the retailer. This desire is what defines us as humans - our desire to interact.

The Major Keys to Survival in this Volatile Retail Environment

One of the best strategies to boost the number of customer visits in your stores is to leverage this human desire to interact and discover new experiences. Try to re-imagine your store as an event space that your customers see as a fun place to visit - not just the place they need to go for weekly provisioning. Promoting limited-time price discounts (TPR) on popular and well-known products only leads to margin erosion. 

"If consumers come to expect price cuts as the rule rather than the exception, then price promotions lose their ability to boost sales and become unprofitable. "    


Consequently, one of the essential keys to survival in this volatile retail environment is creating exceptional customer experience in your stores. Retail leaders realize that customers now have a plethora of choices available to them. Undoubtedly, the store that provides the best experience is certainly where the customers will throng. In essence, traditional grocers have the advantage over e-commerce giants in delivering a quality customer experience through in store demo and other event-based marketing strategies.  

According to a survey of 1,786 US grocery shoppers conducted by the Food Marketing Institute:

"Among all regular food shoppers, brick-and-mortar supermarkets continue to enjoy a clear edge over online grocery retail in perceived performance on key evaluation criteria, especially in providing fresher produce (a top store-selection driver) and better customer service," ​​

With the ever-dynamic nature of retail today, you can only talk about improving customer experience by hosting in-store demos. This refined tactic helps draw customers, boost sales of demonstrated products and improve the sales of other products in the adjacent category. To withstand the barrage of online competitors, you must think of an in-store sampling as a network of events rather than one elaborate show. Knowing the right product to demo, the duration of each demo, and the demo's location are crucial to your store's survival. To measure the impact of in-store demos on your stores' Sales Per Customer Transaction and Sales Per Square Foot, you have to consider

  • individual customer's journey,
  • their loyalty to each CPG brand and
  • The Halo Effect - The Halo effect occurs when promoting one item influences us to purchase another item. It is well documented that a successful demo often produces a 300%-450% uplift in product sales and a measurable uplift in the product's category.

Promotional Strategies

Understanding the return on investment for these promotional strategies can go a long way in attracting sponsors for them. Analyzing your POS's data collected effortlessly holds the key to leveraging vendor's promotional budgets for increasing foot traffic in your stores. Any quality in-store demo agency or vendor's field marketing organization collects valuable data for their demo events. Cross-referencing POS with demo data can produce empirical evidence that would entice vendors to demos in your stores all day long, and that will lift:

  • Weekly sales per square foot of selling area
  • Sales per customer transaction, and
  • Median weekly sales per supermarket 

E-commerce giants should not be the only ones benefiting from the opportunities technology gives us. Traditional stores can explore those blessings too. There are tools that help you automate scheduling and coordination of promotional events in your stores without adding any payroll expenditures.

In retrospect, arming yourself with the right information and tactics will give you sufficient leverage in the unstable 'waters' of retail. Reaching out to your customers, giving them the very best, and improving your operations are essential tips for relieving the pressure of online