New Seasons Market's scientific approach to improving the grocery experience

New Seasons Market has integrated a new software program meant to bring components of online commerce—including the ability to measure and personalize the store experience—to the offline world.

The natural foods grocer operates 15 stores in the Portland-Vancouver area and recently acquired Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Markets, with eight locations in California's central coast region.

The collaboration with software provider Index helps the retailer to gain a real-time understanding of shopper behavior while delivering relevant product recommendations and shopping experiences.

"Index not only helps us implement industry-leading security for our customers' data, but also helps us deliver personalized shopping experiences," says Wendy Collie, New Seasons Market's CEO. "What we are most excited about is that Index delivers incredible value to our customers without the time and cost-intensive need to replace existing systems. Our customers are very important to us and we always look for new ideas to enhance their shopping experience with us."

Index integrates directly with the grocers' existing PIN pads for improved security and a more tailored checkout experience. There is point-to-point encryption for end-to-end security. It also supports EMV payments in advance of the October 2015 deadline for retail adoptions.

The program provides some features of online shopping at checkout. A Web interface allows shoppers to select emailed receipts instead of paper copies and provides an opt-in on the PIN pad for those shoppers.

"There's a scientific-approach to improving the grocery shopping experience. Online retailers test, learn and constantly improve customer experiences and we're excited to empower brick-and-mortar leaders like New Seasons Market with that same capability," according to Index Co-founder and CEO Marc Freed-Finnegan. "Index provides a layered approach to security to ensure the highest level of protection for New Seasons Market customers. A good customer experience starts with security," said Index Co-founder Jonathan Wall.

New Seasons Market plans to launch an accompanying mobile app for iPhone and Android in early 2015 that will leverage iBeacon Bluetooth technology to push customized product recommendations and enable mobile payments.

For more:
-See this Index press release

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