County Market turns on beacons in 44 stores

Niemann Foods rolled out beacons in its County Market grocery stores following a successful test. The new technology is now deployed in all 44 locations.

County Market is a division of Niemann Foods and had tested beacons in conjunction with Birdzi, a provider of location analytics and mobile applications for personalized shopper engagement. The regional grocer had tested beacons in eight locations in Springfield, Illinois, beginning in March, and saw shopper engagement with the store's app rise in a short time.

County Market saw 15 to 20 percent growth week over week in shopper engagement. Roughly 10 percent of shoppers now have the app compared to 6 percent prior to the test, according to Nathaniel Jones, electronic marketing manager at Niemann Foods.

Even more impressive, the in-store redemption rate for beamed offers is between 25 and 30 percent, and has been as high as 50 percent, Jones told FierceMobileRetail.

County Market developed its own app with Birdzi and has linked the mobile initiative to its Max Card loyalty program. The app, promoted as the myCountyMarket app, is a moniker used across all the store's digital platforms.  

The retailer is careful not to push more than three messages per shopper visit, in an attempt to not overwhelm shoppers. "It's key that you just don't spam your customers," Jones said.

Shoppers must opt in to the program when they download the app, and the company is promoting it "in every way we can," including through in-store signage and social media, according to Jones. But the ultimate goal is to grow via word of mouth. "Every retailer strives to get to the point where people are talking about their product," Jones said. "We're hoping that people see the value and spread the word."

The beacon-delivered offers are relevant to each shopper, based on the purchase history with the loyalty program, so the offers can be highly personalized.

The platform also features an in-store map to locate products. Shoppers can create and share shopping lists, sort items by aisle, and map out a store visit. The app has the ability to send out personalized digital flyers, a feature County Market will utilize in the coming months, along with a personalized shopper portal.

Grocery represents possibly the greatest opportunity for location-based marketing in all of retail. The frequency of trips, share of household budget, and price sensitivity all combine to make the channel ripe for new means of messaging.

For more:
-See this Birdzi press release

Related stories:
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75% of retailers to ID shoppers at the door
Facebook is giving away free beacons
Regional grocers light up stores with beacon tests
Target testing beacons in 50 stores

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