One area that remains open to grocers in this regard is the opportunity to build programs focused on alleviating any stress or embarrassment regarding “brown-bag” items in store. There’s obviously a range of products that lend themselves to the potential embarrassment factor: certain hygiene products, specific health-related items and nonprescription pharmaceutical-based items, to name just a few.
These are items that have a consistent ongoing replenishment need for the specific consumer. Many of these consumers may be dealing with health issues that keep them homebound, and a subscription service that focuses on the continuing delivery of certain items to their homes would be a lifesaver to shoppers – as well as a pride saver – by allowing them to have the brown-bag products that they need while avoiding any potential issues related to in-store checkout.
As you leverage in-store frequent-shopper data from recent transactions, it would be relatively easy, based on SKU-level data, for your store to carve out a universe of customers who purchase brown-bag products. This group would be a perfect test market to introduce your brown-bag subscription offering.
You can assemble a brown-bag section of your shopping website that would allow the consumer to select these products as a subscription offering. Consumers would actually be able to select, on an item level, the frequency of need within their bimonthly and/or monthly shipment. For customers who need to use these types of products and services on a regular basis, a subscription service is highly convenient to the consumer and speaks highly, from a reputation standpoint, of your grocery business.
Grocers today are dealing with a wide range of online outlets, all competing to gain a greater share of wallet from your customers. For you to leverage your brick-and-mortar presence and legacy of serving the needs of customers, you must keep up with the competitive set by building and executing new programs and services that delight your customers and maintain their loyalty and preference.