Shopper Marketing - May 2017 - 39
the second time around we did things a little
differently. For example, instead of doing
direct mail pieces, we did what looked like
wedding invitations in gold lettering, with
an RSVP that entitled you to a free bouquet
of flowers. So, we approached it from a different perspective. It wasn't just, "Hey! You
can order your groceries here." It felt more
like a personalized shopping service.
In 2004, Wakefern then started
following up with a mobile app, and
around 2010, you began rolling out digital
coupons. Taken for granted nowadays,
but that must have been challenging.
WILLIAMS: People don't remember that
mobile adoption was very slow at first;
now, it's like, you can't think of anyone who
doesn't have a mobile app. The same thing
happened with digital coupons. When we
started, our team would literally count the
people and say, "Five redeemed our digital
coupon!" And we'd all cheer! And now, when
we do our Big Brand Bash event - well, if I
were to tell you the numbers, you'd be blown
away. The adoption rate and digital downloads and redemptions are just off the charts.
How does "Price Plus Insights" fit in?
WILLIAMS: We introduced "Price Plus
Insights" in 2010 to expose our shopper
data to the manufacturers that had both
brick-and-mortar and digital information. I
believe it was the first in the industry where
we could show a company what products
were selling online better than in-store, for
Has the move to e-commerce and the
digital platform changed classic
WILLIAMS: It's evolved to now when you
sit down at the table and you have those
dialogues about where the money is going
to go, it's about both in-store and online.
One of the things that we really focus on
heavily is that we want to make sure that our
consumers online have the same experience
as in the store. We're talking about the same
price online and in-store, same promotion
online and in-store, same variety online and
People often come in here and tell us,
"You could be so much more efficient if you
just focused on the 1,200 or so items people
buy online." Well yeah, sure, but that's not
who we are. We could be "more efficient"
in-store too if we only had five varieties of
yogurt instead of 200.
You only have to walk a few ShopRite
stores to be impressed by your
WILLIAMS: Every store has roughly
35,000-40,000 SKUs, but each individual
assortment is different along with unique
pricing and promotions. It's a big data effort.
I don't know how we did any of this without
You stress the importance of "being
who we are" a lot. What does that
WILLIAMS: We're known for being difficult New Yorkers sometimes, but what
MAY 2017 SHOPPER MARKETING y