Progressive Grocer Independent

FEB 2016

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22 | Progressive Grocer Independent | February 2016 2016 I N D E P E N D E N T S OUTSTANDING TECHNOLOGY W ith 19 stores, rolling out pricing changes became a time-consuming task for Tahlequah, Okla.-based Reasor's. "We were struggling as a company to implement price changes in a timely manner," says Jarrod Welch, VP and chief technology ofcer. "Even with our size, it was taking us quite some time to batch changes and move to our locations through a nightly process. We were in search of something to speed that up." Te chain turned to a new software system to supplement its own systems for front and back DSD and pricing solu- M artin's Super Market, with 22 stores in Indiana and Michigan, started its Facebook campaign about fve years ago with a strategic plan to ensure the correct messages were posted. Last December, the chain upgraded that strategy to include a new campaign, Facebook Always On. Te sponsored, weekly Facebook posts are divided into seven target audiences. "We were able to take our loyalty card database and match up folks shopping in our stores to their Facebook profles, then segment them accord- ingly based on what they purchase or what their household looks like," explains Amy Simeri McClellan, VP sales and marketing for the South Bend, Ind.-based company. Te segments include health and wellness, young parents, pet owners, Millennials, and deal seekers; customers can be slot- ted into more than one segment. "Te engagement and reach numbers that we're seeing are just awesome," McClellan adds. "We're reaching more folks using that form of media than we can reach with traditional forms, and the content is relevant to what they're shopping for or interested in." Te sponsored posts reach about 60 percent to 80 percent of the targeted audience. In a recent week, the sponsored posts had 2.1 million impressions, 12,000 clicks and 23,000 new unique Facebook users, all of whom hadn't previously been targeted by the posts. In one week, the health-and- wellness segment had an 86 percent reach, while young parents was at 80 percent. During the same time period, the company's Facebook page saw 7,000 page engagements, 12,000 post "likes" and 230 page "likes." "Engagement has been great," McClellan afrms. "Some of the folks that were shopping in our stores didn't neces- sarily 'like' us on Facebook, but as soon as we launched the campaign, we were getting new people 'liking' our page." tions. Te switch changed the hours-long process to a mere 20 minutes. Te software also allows staf to easily spot any discrepancies. Te company underwent weeklong training to teach staf how to use the new software. For store-level employees, nothing on the interface has changed. "It sits in between the locations and the ofce," Welch adds, "so what they see in the end result is exactly what they've been used to over the years." Reasor's also has made the move to the cloud, and now uses several virtual servers. Te number of physical servers has been reduced signifcantly, even as the number of servers the company actually uses is higher than ever. Further, dur- ing the next fscal year, Reasor's plans to invest in a virtual desktop solution, which should cut in half the time needed to support the desktops, according to Welch. Te stores have accepted mobile payments for some time, but more customers are taking advantage of the option. "Our customers, the ones that want to use it, are eager to try it," Welch notes. "Tey'll ask the cashier if we have the capabil- ity, and then they're of and running." Reasor's, Tahlequah, Okla. Martin's Super Market, South Bend, Ind.

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