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Top Shelf Spotlight: How Personalization Enhances Customer Loyalty

Welcome to Personalized Grocery Shopping

Personalization helps grocery retailers combine the two largest drivers of consumer behavior — value and convenience — and deliver it to each of their customers based on specific preferences, buying habits and segmentation.

This exciting development opens the discussion in the latest episode of our TopShelf Spotlight series. In this edition, Peter Nakamura, Product Marketing Manager at Mercatus, is joined by Randy Crimmins, President of AisleOne, to define, discuss and forecast the significance of personalization for grocery retailers, with a special focus on how it can be leveraged to help them compete with larger chains.

The timing of the conversation couldn’t be better. Last month, Mercatus announced the launch of the all-new AisleOne. This intelligent targeting and enhanced personalization solution leverages customer engagement technology to provide regional grocers and independents with the power to deliver a more connected and individualized digital experience for each customer.

For grocers using this enhanced personalization solution, results show more cart conversions, higher baskets and an overall sales lift as high as 5% — with one retailer generating a 14:1 return on digital engagement investment annually.

Here’s how personalization solutions like AisleOne are providing these amazing results…

Personalization and Customer Loyalty: Key Insights

Personalization goes beyond traditional marketing tactics to create a unique shopping journey for each customer. It utilizes customer data to respond to individual preferences, shopping habits, and even dietary needs through curated product recommendations and tailored offers delivered at the right moments across multiple channels.

This strategy not only enhances the shopping experience but also builds a stronger connection between the customer and the brand. It rewards customers with greater value and convenience, and in turn, rewards grocers with heightened loyalty and repeat purchases.

Creating this kind of customer loyalty has become crucial for regional grocers and independents competing with large chains and mass retailers.

How can grocers use personalization to win back their market share? Keep reading.

Top 5 Recommendations

1. Unify Data to Bring Online and In-Store Shopping Together

Strengthen the connection between online and in-store experiences through unified data.

Personalization has the potential to flow seamlessly across all channels, allowing customers to switch between digital and physical stores without losing the value and convenience that come with greater personalization. For instance, online shopping lists should include aisle location for product wayfinding in-store via mobile apps, and in-store purchases should influence online recommendations.

This not only serves the customer better, but it creates a holistic view of your customers and their journey through automated tracking of individual digital, transactional, and promotional activity data — both online and in-store.

2. Make Better Business Decisions From Data-Driven Insights

Use the unified data you’ve collected to drive business growth for both consumer-facing and back-end strategies that predict the needs of the customer before they’re even expressed.

In terms of customers, that means using data-driven personalization to provide highly relevant offers, recommendations and communications that resonate with each shopper — and leads to more cart conversions, higher baskets and an overall sales lift.

In terms of the back-end processes of the grocer, customer data can be combined with seasonal data, weather data, localized market data, and more to help predict demand and ensure that both digital and physical shelves are stocked with the right products at the right time in the right quantities to help reduce out of stocks and make these personal offers possible for the customer.

3. Develop Robust Loyalty Programs

Modern loyalty programs need to offer more than just transaction-based rewards, and instead, become platforms for delivering personalized experiences.

While the majority of grocers use their loyalty programs to capture customer data, only a minority are fully utilizing it through tailored rewards, exclusive offers, and personalized communication that incorporates purchase history, browsing habits and dietary preferences. That’s the type of loyalty program that will truly enhance customer engagement and lead to greater sales.

4. Adapt To Consumer Needs In Real-Time

The applications of personalization being used right now by grocers are proving to be incredibly effective, but it’s only scratching the surface of what’s possible.

Already, we’re seeing real-time data being used to adjust recommendations and offers on the fly. This could include dynamic pricing, flash sales on items frequently purchased by the customer, or instant rewards for in-store interactions. Eventually, we’ll see the increased integration of AI to determine everything that goes into each customer’s personal circular.

5. Learn More About AisleOne

The default, static rewards programs currently being used throughout the industry are simply not effective in helping regional grocers and independents compete with larger retailers and national chains.

When grocers search for a customer loyalty program, what they really want is AisleOne’s comprehensive and dynamic customer engagement solution. With its cost-effectiveness, ease of integration, and substantial ROI, AisleOne is the only engagement solution developed to meet the current challenges facing grocers. Click here to discover how AisleOne can help you win back your market share from mass retailers through a loyalty, or rather, a shopper engagement program that goes beyond the basics — and helps guide you through all of the necessary steps to increase your personalization efforts, outlined below.

Personalization Action Steps:

  • Evaluate and enhance your data collection methods.
  • Deploy digital solutions for deeper data analysis and insights.
  • Ensure seamless omnichannel customer experiences.
  • Tailor marketing to individual customer behaviors.
  • Revitalize loyalty programs with personalized rewards.
  • Offer personalized pricing and promotions in real-time.
  • Personalize online platforms for easier product discovery.
  • Adapt offerings based on customer segment trends.
  • Be open to further integrations of personalization.
  • As always, regularly solicit and act on customer feedback for improvement.

Final Thoughts

As grocery retailers venture further into personalized offerings that improve customer loyalty, the opportunities to deepen customer relationships and drive business success continue to increase. By focusing on the unique needs and preferences of each shopper as an individual, grocers can find the competitive advantage that has largely eluded them in the battle for market share against larger retailers and national chains.

To learn more about using personalization to keep your customers coming back, watch the full TopShelf Spotlight episode with Peter and Randy and click here to learn how AisleOne can increase your sales through more cart conversions with larger orders.

As you can tell from the video, we’re tremendously excited about this topic, and we’d love the chance to talk more about it. If you have any questions about personalization or customer loyalty programs specific to your business, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for tuning into this episode of Top Shelf Spotlight. We’ll be back soon with more analysis, insights and advice on the grocery industry.


Peter Nakamura headshot

Peter Nakamura

Product Marketing Manager, Mercatus

Randy Crimmins

President, AisleOne