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Harps Adds Digital Touch to Rewards Program

Retailer partners with Birdzi to build loyalty, personalization and digital engagement
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Harps Adds a Digital Touch to Its Rewards Program
Harps Rewards enables the grocer to offer shoppers digital savings, personalization and enhanced shopping experiences, both in store and online.

To better accommodate the increased number of online shoppers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Harps Food Stores Inc. has partnered with digital customer engagement solution provider Birdzi on a mobile rewards app program. Following a six-month implementation, Harps Rewards launched in February 2021 to enable the grocer to offer shoppers digital savings, personalization and enhanced shopping experiences, both in store and online.

After evaluating solution providers, Harps selected Birdzi in February 2020 to help drive the grocer's marketing efforts. In addition to Harps Rewards, Birdzi’s platform provides a roadmap for expansion as Harps’ program matures, ensuring that the grocer is prepared to grow and adapt its digital initiatives with personalized ad fliers, strategic targeting, and advanced shopper insights.

“There are many options out there, but with Birdzi, we’re confident that we will see the best return on our investment amid the changing grocery landscape,” said David Ganoung, VP of marketing of Springdale, Arkansas-based Harps Food Stores. “After thorough conversations during the decision-making process, Birdzi felt like the natural choice to transform our digital strategies and accelerate our ongoing growth. We’re excited about the flexibility that Birdzi gives us across marketing, merchandising, pricing and beyond.”

     (Join Harp's David Ganoung and executives from Movista, Kimberly-Clark and Reese Foods on March 30 for a discussion on, "The New Collaboration Ecosystem: Rewriting the rules of in-store execution.")

The new rewards program gives Harps a platform to digitally engage shoppers and maintain loyalty among new and existing customers. With Harps Rewards, Birdzi arms Harps with a plethora of tools to engage customers, including shoppable recipes. More targeted promotions also make advertising campaigns more appealing to brands, helping to increase brands’ investment in Harps.

The data collected via Harps Rewards leads to the customer intelligence necessary to build and sustain a successful digital program. Harps can benefit from more effective marketing, curated shopper experiences and higher overall ROI. 

Birdzi also helped Harps navigate local challenges that the grocer was facing. This included using personalized, targeted shoppable fliers and digital coupons in response to local newspapers' ceasing the printing of grocery ads. Additionally, superstores provide a high level of competition that makes a personalized, customer-centric shopping experience a must for a regional brand like Harps.

“With the launch of Harps Rewards, we’re excited to help empower the brand’s digital experience,” said Shekar Raman, co-founder and CEO of Iselin, New Jersey-based Birdzi. “With our platform, we strive to create value for retailers anywhere on the loyalty spectrum, be it just beginning or mature programs. Harps has had great success in attracting the newly engaged digital audience brought on by COVID-19. With a rewards program that offers shoppers a personalized experience, Harps will have the tools to maintain and grow this new audience into a highly loyal audience.”

Birdzi is a provider of end-to-end personalized digital customer engagement solutions for grocers. Its platform helps regional retailers advance ahead of their largest competitors by driving contextually relevant engagement across every touchpoint, inside and outside the store.

Other retailers that have used Birdzi on rewards programs include St. Cloud, Minnesota-based Coborn’s Inc. Since their partnership, back in 2016, the independent grocer has seen a 355% increase in customer retention, a 16% increase in trips per month and a 23.7% increase in spend per month. 

Coborn’s is an employee-owned retailer with more than 9,000 employees and 58 grocery stores in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin under the Coborn’s, Cash Wise Foods, Marketplace Foods and Hornbacher’s banners, as well as stand-alone convenience, liquor and pharmacy locations. The company is No. 82 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

Meanwhile, Harps operates 114 supermarkets in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas. The company is the largest employee-owned company based in Arkansas and the 20th largest in the United States.

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