It’s no secret – the grocery industry has seen unprecedented growth this year amidst the pandemic. In March and April, traditional, in-store grocery sales approached a 100% increase over 2019. But as the population is learning how to adapt to new restrictions and is returning to restaurants, grocery sales are declining.
The bottom line is that your store can’t coast off of 2020’s Q1 and Q2 sales. Even if your profits are an all-time high, the retail landscape has evolved this year, and will have lasting effects into 2021 and beyond. Luckily, there are several things you can do now to position for more growth and prepare for next year.
- Eliminate Print Ad Distribution
Ok ok this may seem drastic, but don’t completely dismiss the idea… transitioning away from print ad distribution may be the smartest step you can take in preparing for the future. While traditional, in-store sales growth has declined as restaurants have reopened, grocery e-commerce has taken huge strides forward this year, exceeding a 300% increase in online spending over 2019. On top of that, more and more shoppers are visiting grocery websites. Now is the time to start shifting your advertising resources from print to digital.
One 15+ store Webstop retailer eliminated their print ad distribution entirely in April 2020 and has seen:
- No sales decline
- Thousands in savings on print costs
- Over 200% traffic growth for their online weekly ad
- Online Exclusive Deals
Maybe you’re not ready to completely axe print ads for your stores – that’s okay. But are you intrigued? Just not sure how to start?
Other retailers have found they can begin transitioning customers to the digital circular format through exclusive online circular pages. While these retailers still print a base ad each week, exclusive online savings are found in the digital circular, which has an increased page count online.
- Get in Front of Shoppers More
Now is the time to increase your email communication with your shoppers. If you’ve been sending one or two emails per week, bump the frequency up to five or six weekly emails. Since emails typically get lost in the shuffle, increasing frequency increases the chance that your shoppers will see your communications. Webstop retailers have seen more email engagement overall by increasing the send frequency per week.
- Use Digital Advertising to Fill the Gaps
Another Webstop retailer lost print ad distribution in select markets as newspapers eliminated their daily and weekly papers, so this retailer turned to digital advertising. Buying media space across third party websites such as Google and Facebook allowed the retailer to stay top of mind for shoppers in those specific geographic areas where shoppers no longer had access to print ads.
While it’s easier to keep the shoppers you have than to find new ones, these advertising platforms allow for in-depth targeting based on demographic information, so you can ensure you’re pushing the right message to the appropriate audience.
Want to future-proof your stores and drive sales growth with these techniques?
Having a partner like Webstop can help prepare you for the future digital state and gives regional grocers a much better chance to be on par with larger chains and big box stores.