Meeting the Demands of the Modern Shopper: A Conversation With UNFI’s Bill Lipsky

How a strong digital presence can lead to in-store success. 

SHOP ‘n SAVE is a collection of 83 independently owned grocery stores that first started working with Webstop in 2019. The retailer had been proactive with its marketing efforts, implementing an increasing number of digital features over the years. But they also realized the need for a partner to help integrate their existing digital channels into a more user-friendly end-to-end experience. 

And then, a pandemic happened. 

What had initially begun as a collaboration to boost the digital presence and customer experience for SHOP ‘n SAVE stores quickly faced a whole new set of unforeseen challenges. But Webstop helped weather the storm, remaining flexible and responding to short-term needs while keeping an eye on the long-term goals for integration. SHOP ‘n SAVE Vice President of Merchandising Bill Lipsky recently sat down to talk about how the partnership has helped create a seamless customer experience from initial discovery to eventual purchase. 

From Numbers to Action 

Data has countless benefits for retailers, including reducing costs, streamlining operations, and driving competitive advantages. But merely collecting numbers isn’t enough. Retailers must have well-defined objectives and collect data that provides actionable insights that are linked to accomplishing goals. Otherwise, the data that is collected just becomes another source of confusion, and strategies become guesswork. 

SHOP ‘n SAVE dealt with something similar, having marketing channels in place, but in Bill Lipsky’s words, “…if you asked us how many people were reading the circular, we couldn’t tell you.” Linking strategies to actionable data helped SHOP ‘n SAVE with their future planning, as well as in their communication with CPGs. 

Pixels with Personality 

The human brain perceives things visually, and sharp design can play a major role in getting your message to land. In fact, consumers are 60x more likely to make contact with a brand that pairs its message with strong imagery compared to one that does not. In the era of digital ads, the possibilities are endless. Lipsky equates the current landscape with the transition from standard television to HD, remarking that “the visual on a digital ad is so much stronger and has the potential to be so much stronger than a printed ad. The Webstop Digital Circular provides all that for us in one spot.” 

The Road to Customer Success 

The digital experience continues to play an important role in the shopper’s journey, with 64% of shoppers doing at least some part of their meal planning online. However, recent data shows that eCommerce only makes up 11.2% of the overall U.S. grocery sales. This means retailers need an integrated approach that not only provides valuable information online but provides a cohesive user journey once shoppers are in the store. 

For SHOP ‘n SAVE, this was one of the most important benefits of partnering with Webstop. They needed a customer experience that seamlessly bridges the gap between the online and in-store experiences with consistent messaging that continuously meets the shopper’s expectations. “The customer journey from point of entry for making a decision to when they’re buying it in the store, it’s all there in the Webstop application.” 

Free E-Book

To learn more about the dynamic partnership between SHOP ‘n SAVE and Webstop, check out the new eBook, How SHOP ‘n SAVE Embraced Digital Transformation: A Case Study in Adaptability and Integration. This comprehensive case study explores the challenges SHOP ‘n SAVE faced, the innovative solutions they implemented, and the exciting outcomes they achieved.