Despite the long-standing success of e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, many retailers continue to struggle with personalization… and it’s costing them a lot more than you might think.
According to eRetailer’s recent article, retailers who personalize their shopping experiences often experience increased sales, better overall customer loyalty, and high levels of customer engagement. However, many retailers are intimidated by the advanced technologies required to deliver a truly personalized customer experience. Some of the biggest obstacles are the up-front expense of the technology and difficulties getting systems implemented and running. These challenges pale in comparison though, when compared with the estimated $756 billion retailers collectively lost in retail and brand sales in 2017… and that was in the US alone.
All of this goes to prove that in today’s customer experience, personalization is everything, and the technology required to help you get there is easier than you think. Take a look at an example of how Peapod used technology to create a stellar shopper experience.
Peapod & The PIM
Peapod’s focus on a great shopper experience has helped them achieve 40% bigger baskets compared to other eGrocery providers. According to a study conducted by Unata, “50% of all shoppers who never made a second online grocery order said it was because they couldn’t easily find the products they were looking for.” Together, Peapod and ItemMaster have solved this problem by giving shoppers several ways to conveniently find and purchase the products they want, resulting in better sales performance.
Peapod Website & App
The core functionality of Peapod (often seen as the leader in ecommerce grocery shopping) is powered by a deep set of product attributes. This drives a full basket customer experience vs. a “spearfishing site” defined as one picture and minimal content. Beyond looking at individual brands and categories, products can be searched, sorted, and filtered by the following categories:
- Nutrients: shoppers can compare items based on specific amounts of sodium, protein, carbs, etc. to help them find the best choice based on diet and preference.
- Nutrition Claims: shop for USDA Organic, non-GMO and other healthy options to support lifestyle and food transparency.
- Brand Content: using ItemMaster’s Content+ feature, brand owners can supply additional information and imagery for products, ensuring they are fully represented and findable on digital shelves.
Internet of Things
The next wave of convenience and innovation in online grocery shopping goes beyond the individual retailer’s web experience – to now include the variety of different ways consumers interact with e-commerce. For instance, consumers can now make purchases while talking to an Amazon Alexa unit in their kitchen or while on their mobile device searching for the perfect recipe for dinner.
Shopper: “Alexa, ask Peapod to add macaroni and cheese to my cart”
Alexa: “Adding Annie’s Homegrown Macaroni & Cheese Shells, 6 oz box”
Structured product data allows consumers to easily order groceries, hands-free, from Peapod using the Amazon’s Alexa or Echo, as well as interact with several other IoT devices like hiku and the integrated software on many different brands of new Smart Fridges. From the user’s perspective, the shopping experience is simple and seamless. Behind the scenes, all the information about every item sold has been carefully constructed to ensure the shopper can find and purchase the proper product, not just the first time, but every time afterwards as well. Just as content has been optimized for search, it also needs to be optimized for other interactions such as Voice Assistance. For example, product titles may contain additional information like size, flavor, or other important attributes when the interaction is through conversation rather that on-screen, where imagery plays an important role in filling in vital information that drives decision-making.
As a brand owner, distributing accurate data to your e-commerce partners is critical to ensuring visibility. Peapod’s case is no different. Purchasing ingredients for favorite recipes typically takes only a single click, thanks to partnerships between Peapod and recipe sites like FoodRocket and Chicory (via HalfBaked Harvest). Site owners can search, sort, and filter Peapod’s full assortment to find the best set of product options for any recipe. This also opens up a whole new way for consumers to discover and get recommendations for products based on the specific dishes they’d like to make.
Meal kits and dinner planning is one of the fastest growing trends in the industry. It’s already valued at over $2 billion with anticipated 25% yearly growth. Time-sensitive shoppers, healthy eaters, and those with limited cooking talent often turn to preplanned meals for convenience and nutrition. Websites like PlateJoy and The Dinner Daily help shoppers personalize their meals based on their individual or family dietary needs, making it easier to plan dinners with specific options that are gluten-free, low in sodium, or organic-focused.
Many of these companies have partnered with Peapod to supply the right ingredients for each meal, which ItemMaster is proud to power. This customized experience is powered by structured product data, in which key attributes like non-GMO and allergens can be easily and accurately identified.
In conclusion, creating an excellent personalization experience is no longer something that’s just reserved for major retailers! But before you grab the first personalization solution you see, it’s important to understand what technologies work best for your business and, more importantly, how those technologies can work together to create a seamless online shopping experience for new and returning customers alike.
To learn more about enhancing your shopper experience, get started HERE!