CARLISLE, Pa.— With the digital age bringing more opportunity for the grocery industry to connect with shoppers both in-store and online, Ahold USA and its banners Stop & Shop, Giant Food, Giant/Martin's and Peapod are rolling out innovative ways to personalize and digitize the shopping experience.
"Through the introduction of new technology, Ahold USA brands are able to offer more savings, faster shopping and a more transparent connection with their customers," stated Matt Simon, VP loyalty and digital marketing at Ahold USA. "Since the implementation of their digital growth strategies, Ahold USA brands have seen record-setting engagement, activation and redemption."
The digital growth strategies include significant investments in new digital tools including relevant digital coupons, new websites, mobile app improvements and a new recipe center. The following key milestones have been achieved across all four Ahold USA brands:
- 1 million new digital users and counting over last year;
- New "Load to Card" Digital Coupon activations up 179%;
- New, responsive brand websites, leading to 20% growth in year to date web traffic over the comparable period last year;
- 76% increase in monthly app users and tripling of mobile app downloads; and
- More than 1 million social media followers across platforms.
"We have reached a tipping point where American shoppers are engaging in their pre-shop ritual digitally.”Eliminating paper cuts forever, Ahold USA brands have made it easier for their shoppers to find and utilize coupons to maximize savings. With the simple push of a button, the "Load to Card" programs directly load digital coupons to loyalty cards. The Load to Card program, including bonus week events, has exceeded expectations with a total of more than 174 million digital coupon activations in 2017 to date at Ahold USA brands, which is a 179% increase vs, year ago.
Exclusive digital savings are also delivered via email with a total of over 29 million personalized "Load to Card" coupons already loaded this year. In addition to the personalized offers, new digital bonus week events stack an additional $100 dollars in digital coupons to each user's account.
For those who love to browse their store circular, a new partnership with Flipp has improved the digital circular experience, letting customers quickly clip relevant items, browse bonus buys, add items to their shopping lists and even load coupons directly onto their loyalty cards.
"We have reached a tipping point where American shoppers are engaging in their pre-shop ritual digitally," said Wehuns Tan, CEO of Flipp Corporation. "Ahold USA brands are leaders in showcasing their brand stories through compelling visual merchandising with a digital-first approach. We are excited to partner with Ahold USA to support its brands in driving innovation that gives shoppers the seamless, mobile experience they expect today."
"Putting the customer first is our brands' top priority, and part of that means providing easy to use digital solutions to help her save time and money," added Simon.
More than 3,700 recipes featured in Savory Magazine, the monthly magazine published exclusively for Ahold USA brands, are now available at the click of a button with the Savory Shopping Tool. All Savory recipes displayed online on the brands' webpages include the option to transfer ingredients directly into the customer's Peapod digital shopping cart, creating a seamless path for the customers to have exactly what they need delivered directly to their door.
"Today, the consumer does not just shop one way. She's finding meal inspiration online and either filling her grocery cart in the store or virtually," said Carrie Bienkowski, CMO of Peapod, a brand of Ahold USA which is seeing year over year double digit growth as demand for online grocery intensifies.
"Our brands are able to meet her busy lifestyle and support any way she wants to shop by offering shoppers the option to shop in brick and mortar stores, select grocery pick up at more than 200 locations or opt for at-home delivery via Peapod," continued Simon.
Knowing that connecting digitally can create a stronger relationship with customers, this year Ahold USA Brands also launched a new YouTube video campaign, "Fresh Stories." The series, created in an effort to provide meaningful, transparent information to customers about the food they purchase, contains a library of more than 30 engaging and emotional videos about fresh product suppliers that have been viewed over 15 million times this year alone. As an example, "True North Salmon: A Partnership for Sustainable Seafood" (above) has been viewed over 200,000 times.
With a total of more than 1 million followers for AUSA brands across social media, each brand has also expanded its social media presence by recently launching on Instagram. The highly visual platform will enable Ahold USA brands to develop unique strategies to engage with consumers in fun and unique ways.