Grocery Circulars in 2024: Meeting Modern Shopper Demands

Build stronger connections with your customers with the next wave of grocery promotions. 

For decades, grocery marketing efforts were built around the weekly printed circular. These flyers were packed with deals and promotions, and the biggest decision for reaching your target audience was whether they were going to be sent through mail or picked up in-store while shopping. But the rise of online engagement has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for digital circulars and is even impacting where consumers shop. Recent data shows that 54% of shoppers look for deals online when choosing where to buy their groceries.

Data like this confirms what many have suspected for a long time: consumers are not only switching to digital, but the switch is actively shaping and creating new shopping behaviors. In order to meet customers where they are, it’s more important than ever for retailers to solidify their digital strategies, including providing robust digital circulars that are personalized and interactive.

The Current Landscape of Grocery Circulars

In 2024, grocery circulars must not only deliver the most important savings information to shoppers on a weekly basis but also bridge the gap between various generations of shoppers. But exactly who is embracing digital circulars might surprise you. An analysis from Inmar Intelligence found that Baby Boomers and Gen Xers had the highest percentage of shoppers using digital resources like coupons and loyalty cards. Despite the fact that digital preferences are on the rise, some shoppers still prefer print circulars. So, finding a way to balance these varying preferences is the key to still delivering an effective circular. That’s why a targeted, multichannel grocery marketing strategy that places your message in front of your target audience in their inbox or on their devices is key to acquiring new grocery customers seeking value and savings. This digital transition is on display as major chains are beginning to move away from traditional print media and switching to an entirely digital format. 

Take Kroger, who announced last year that it was beginning to phase out print circulars. A company representative explained that the decision to discontinue printed circulars is a cost-cutting measure informed by the company’s data.

“Kroger has been conducting research for over two years to better understand the changing media consumption habits of our customers, the contribution to sales provided by the printed weekly circular, and negative impact to our distribution costs driven by increasing labor and fuel costs.” This strategic move by Kroger underscores a broader industry trend towards digital transformation, prioritizing efficiency and responsiveness to consumer preferences.

The Digital Divides

Digital circulars vary significantly from retailer to retailer. While some retailers opt for a digital replica of their print ads, others create distinct experiences tailored to the digital-first shopper. While the exact form may vary, digital circulars are among the best ways to drive customer engagement when they effectively interact with other valuable content. Utilizing an online format allows for added features like integrated recipes, digital coupons, personalized promotions, and even multimedia content like videos. Webstop distinguishes itself by offering a range of circular display options, catering to the diverse preferences of shoppers and ensuring a more personalized and engaging experience.

As digital circulars continue to develop, be on the lookout for even more engaging content that seeks to build customer loyalty via the use of first-party data-driven retail media offers. While there is promise with this opportunity, retailers and CPG brands aren’t always on the same page with customer engagement strategies so test-and-learns can be a key way to evaluate options. 

Color Outside The Lines: Variability and Innovation 

Digital circulars are poised for further innovation, moving beyond the confines of retailer websites to the broader digital ecosystem. These types of developments include enhanced digital advertising strategies and leveraging third-party platforms to increase circular visibility and drive traffic. This shift represents a strategic move to expand the reach of promotional content and engage consumers where they spend a significant portion of their time online.

As retail media grows, grocers should also aim to expand beyond banner ads and sponsored searches to create more personalized, entertaining experiences that promote customer loyalty. Embracing technologies such as AI and augmented reality can transform digital circulars into interactive shopping assistants, offering consumers a seamless blend of information, entertainment, and convenience. This evolution not only caters to the demands of the modern shopper but also solidifies digital circulars as a critical component in the future of retail marketing strategies.

Dive Into Digital 

Even in 2024, the significance of digital circulars continues to be underestimated. For retailers, the challenge lies in continuously adapting these circulars to meet the changing needs and expectations of modern shoppers. By embracing digital innovation and prioritizing personalization and engagement, retailers can ensure their circulars remain a relevant and compelling component of their marketing strategies.

As shopping behaviors shift towards digital-first engagement, embracing innovative solutions is key to fostering heightened consumer loyalty and staying relevant in the retail landscape. Webstop’s retailer-focused features provide a comprehensive digital foundation that enhances the grocery shopping journey. From dynamic websites to engaging digital circulars, Webstop ensures your digital presence resonates with the modern consumer. 

Contact us today to find out what our digital circular platform can do for you.