My family has changed quite a bit in the last two years.
The household went from one generation to three and from 2 members to five plus a dog. That means that our purchase and shopping practices have changed and the amounts have grown. We moved from a focus almost entirely based on convenience (a great deal of Peapod, Costco, The Fresh Market and Osco) to one where variety, cost and convenience need to meet a happy middle ground. We now routinely shop at Peapod, Jewel-Osco, Dominicks, Target, Walmart (which now is a SuperCenter), Walgreens and a ton more Amazon. Unit purchases are up more than 100% each and every week.
About mid-February the most active carnivore in the HH went virtually vegan overnight and has pretty much stayed that way ever since.
Two big lifestyle changes that should have fired off some set of customer attraction activities from this set of retailers…..and nothing.
Walmart has done a decent job of creating an impression in-store. Chicago is one of the towns where they have heavy advertising about their price matching efforts (specifically aimed at Jewel.) They have amplified that by adding some in-store personnel who try to recognize and call out shoppers they have seen a number of times (and ones with big baskets.) One of the family members was chased down and guided through the price matching efforts at the register. I am not sure how well it would have worked without this shopper ambassador, but it made an impression. However, what personal service giveth, produce taketh away….no Cucumbers….on a Tuesday…in the summer. Huh?
Target and Jewel have done nothing to gain trips or basket. Jewel used to be our preferred vendor prior to switching to Peapod 4 years ago. Now the OSCO drive through gets almost all of our action with them.
Peapod should have been in the best position to pick up on these changes and figure out a way to maintain their share at least, and perhaps improve their position. However to chase their declining share (if they even realize it) they threaten to demote our VIP status if we don’t order four times in the next two weeks. HUH?
We hear about the exploding use of Big Data by retailers to target “their customer”. Shopping 5-6 stores for our very large weekly needs is hard work. If one of these players would put the data to work they could focus against our balance of needs for convenience, value and assortment and make our job easier, and their share of our business much, much bigger. However either their big data capabilities are too limited, or they don’t know the right questions to ask. In this case none of the players has done a very good job of making our family choose their store, as “our store.”