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AI Can Help Grocers Convert Circulars To Dynamic Digital


by Jim Dudlicek, NGA director of communications and external affairs

Circulars are historically passive marketing platforms, engaging only your most loyal current customers.

NGA hosted a recent webinar to explore how to harness artificial intelligence (AI) to distribute digital circulars to all grocery shoppers and then follow customers back to store, producing powerful visitation analytics.

The discussion was led by Adam Zimmerman, partner and SVP of product development at digital circular solution provider Design House, and included Doug Fritsch, senior VP of retail business development at IGA, and Mark Fleisch, SVP and head of partnerships at location-based ad platform GroundTruth.

Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:

Avenues for traditional circulars are disappearing. Local newspapers have been folding at an alarming rate, leaving many markets, especially rural areas, without a vehicle for printed circulars. Combined with the declining readership of print media, especially among younger consumers, circulars are a great target for reinvention.

Digital circulars should be interactive. It’s not enough just to e-mail copies of your print circular – this created a clunky desktop experience and an intolerable one for handheld devices. Technology abounds to create circulars optimized for mobile devices that can include videos of cooking demonstrations for featured products and recipes linked to digital shopping lists.

Tracking shoppers’ “real world” behavior is more useful than their online activities. Know the right time to reach out with the right messages by knowing not only when customers are in your store, but when they’re outside and nearby – targeted ads can draw them in.

Use technology that gets smarter over time. AI gathers data beyond your initial target audience, which can be further refined by new information.

Calculate the ROI of digital circulars by gathering data on click-throughs, views, time spent and store visits by regular, non-loyal and new customers. Platforms can also gather data on factors like age, gender and income.

To view this complete webinar, along with others in the series, visit https://nga.sclivelearningcenter.com/MVSite/default.aspx.

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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
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