The Retailers Next Big B2B Partnership Made Possible by Data Sharing 

Grocery retailers have gotten involved in some pretty awesome partnerships. Like having bank offices, hair salons, or opticians right in the store. This makes life easier for customers and makes the grocery store more and more central to customers’ lives. Obviously, the more parts of life customers conduct at the store, the greater the loyalty. So recognizing that every customer has a journey, retailers should spend some time brainstorming about their customers’ journeys and how they can partner with other organizations to better both their customers’ lives and their own bottom lines. A lot of these partnerships can be fueled by big data—capturing information about customers and using it to give them discounts or freebies that benefit both the grocery retailer and their partners, and ultimately customers.

Health Companies: We all know there’s a big difference between the health of customers whose carts are full of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains versus processed foods and sodas. What about creating a partnership with health insurance companies that customers can sign up for? The healthy food they buy is recorded by the grocery store and shared with the health insurance company for a discount. Of course, customers would have to opt in, but many would be happy to be rewarded for good habits they’re already practicing.

Another option would be to offer a free bottle of water or piece of fruit to shoppers who use a Fitbit or similar health tracking device and tie the reward to the device.

Car Maintenance: People with good grades get lower car insurance, why not people who maintain their autos regularly? If your retailer has auto supplies or performs maintenance, you could work with car insurance companies to offer discounts for people who do regular auto care.

Gourmet Food Tied to Cooking Schools: There’s a big trend to learn to cook gourmet meals. Grocery stores could offer promotions where people who buy certain high-end products get free or discounted cooking classes at area cooking schools. Customers who buy gluten-free products, for example, could get classes on gluten-free baking. Customers who buy a lot of meat could get classes on how to barbecue in different styles.

Local Producers: This is a more low-tech option but lots of community gardens need compost and grocery stores produce a lot of compostable materials. What about setting up a partnership to deliver compostable goods to community gardens in exchange for local, organic produce that would draw a certain segment of shoppers to the store?

In many ways, grocery retailers can provide a central service to help customers live their whole lives better, and get rewards in return.

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Seth Nagle, Senior Marketing Manager at RW3 Technologies understands the power of innovation but also its limitations. Attending Salve Regina in New England, starting his career in Silicon Valley, and now living in Austin, Texas; Seth provides a unique tech perspective to a complex CPG and Retail Grocery Industry that is in constant disruption.

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