Online Grocery Pickup – The Supplier’s Playbook for Media Mastery in 2019

One of the biggest mistakes a shopper marketing strategist could make going into next year would be to treat Online Grocery as just another tactic or box to check off of the media plan.

The landscape for grocery and retail in general is being completely shaken up by new, convenient pickup and delivery options. As of September 2018, Walmart now offers grocery delivery in 50 metro areas and online grocery pickup in over 2,000 stores. And the reality is, everyone is jumping on this trend – including Whole Foods (Amazon), Target, Costco and Kroger.

The bottom line? If you want to go where the consumer is going, you need a plan for online grocery pickup.

The Insights

  1. Capturing the online grocery moment is key. Reaching the entire Walmart customer base is simply a waste of advertising dollars. In fact, most media companies still try to convince suppliers that geofencing an entire Walmart store is in a “hyper-targeted solution” (yep, shots fired). Yet only 1 in 5 Walmart customers are currently using online grocery pickup, so you obviously need a more specific way of targeting this audience or you’ll end up showing ads to customers who will never become OGP users.
  2. Three battles win the war At OGP lanes, in-store & at home. If you want to win Online Grocery Pickup, you have to know the battleground. Opportunities to grow share of wallet through OGP require a robust marketing strategy that carefully follows customers across their entire journey.
  3. Convenience trumps brand loyalty. While there are still some CPG brand loyalists out there, at the end of the day your key to “getting on the list” is being part of a simple, convenient solution for delivering customers what they want – when and how they want it.

Why Now?

Online grocery pickup (and delivery) presents a rare opportunity to bridge the omnichannel gap between ecommerce and retail. As brands lose in-store revenues to ecommerce leaders, new pickup and delivery options provide a reason to stay loyal to the channel.

If you want to re-engage shoppers who are turning to competitive channels like Amazon, this is your year (and it may be your last).

Key Seasonal Opportunities for OGP

To make it simple, we’ve captured three powerful ways to win the OGP war.

1. Kick Off Spring
Every year consumer demand for healthy & fresher foods surges in January following resolutions to start the year strong. While this initial wave crashes pretty quickly, each Spring there is a second wave of renewed commitment to eating well as warmer weather approaches, produce availability increases and the Spring cleaning bug bites. This is an excellent opportunity to get on the list for OGP and nurture a seasonal trend that spans 3-4 months in most markets.

Key OGP merchandise intersections

  • Healthy Snacking – The numbers say it all, 6-8% growth in this space while the conventional snacking market has shrunk 2% over the last few years. What’s perfect about healthy snacking and OGP is it’s an great add-on item that speaks to a broad audience, which is critical when you’re dealing with a segment of Walmart shoppers.
  • Fresh meat and produce – Spring brings the return of a warmer weather and access to a wider variety of produce. It’s also a time when seafood generally peaks in demand – or at least when the season begins.
  • Functional or special diet foods – From frozen to condiments, canned foods to mixes, Spring is one of the best windows for reaching shoppers with specific needs: dairy free, gluten free, organic, artificial-free and more generally peak in the beginning of the year.

2. Dominate Summer

When it comes to OGP, summer is all about grilling outside, community, and staying cool. That means everything from snacks from the team mom to 4th of July bashes by the neighborhood pool.

Key OGP merchandise intersections

  • Fresh meat and produce – The core ingredients to any celebration
  • Beverages, ice cream, popsicles & alcohol – when the weather and fun heats up, refreshing snacks peak
  • Frozen fruit – from smoothies to sangria, frozen fruit is a must for beating the heat in summer
  • Home & backyard – beautifying the yard space and lighting up the grill requires a lot of a supplies.
  • Sports & outdoor – believe it or not, OGP offers a great assortment of apparel and tools that make the great outdoors more enjoyable.

3. Do Holiday the OGP Way

Holiday is a time to celebrate all the people in our lives, and food tends to be at the center of this time of year. This means more trips to the store, more shopping fatigue and time is at a premium. All of these realities set the stage for OGP perfectly – there’s simply no better time of year to win at OGP than holiday. A positive OGP experience can save the day for a Walmart shopper in need, and create a loyal customer.

Key OGP merchandise intersections

  • Meat / protein – It’s peak season for protein, especially in November and December. From last-minute office parties to unexpected changes in guests, OGP is a life-saver for many trying to survive the holiday rush.
  • Desserts – There’s no other time of year when so many cakes, cookies and sweets are purchased or baked.
  • Pre-made meals and appetizers/snacks – When time is even more precious, convenience and OGP go hand-in-hand. That makes frozen and fresh meals, as well as dry and frozen snacks the perfect fit for holiday OGP plans.
  • Household staples – From detergent & toothpaste to milk & eggs, everything runs out faster during holiday for some reason.

Innovative Media Tactics to Drive Leadership

Geo-retargeting OGP – Leverage BrandLift’s proprietary database of actual Walmart Grocery Users to reach only those shoppers who have already proven they prefer the OGP channel. BrandLift’s technology can retarget OGP users on any device and even extend your reach to all devices connected to OGP shopper’s wifi address at home. There’s no other way to do this in the marketplace today, giving you a substantial advantage over competitors in your category.Geo-retargeting presents you with a number of powerful options for refining your audience:

  • Superusers – Retarget only people or regularly use OGP (multiple visits to OGP lanes)
  • Recency – Retarget only the most recent OGP users (visited OGP lane in the last month/last 3 months/etc)
  • Additional in-store layers – imagine adding conditions to your targeting, so you’re reaching people who meet two conditions: they aren’t just OGP users, they also frequently visit your category inside Walmart. For example: personal care section, freezer section, produce section, and many more.

Behavioral targeting – What if you wanted to focus on potential OGP shoppers to slightly extend your reach? Behavioral targeting allows you to layer multiple insight-rich pieces of information about what matters to a consumer and what they do on and offline, to help you refine your targeting at levels most wouldn’t believe possible.For example, imagine if for health-focused offerings you could target only shoppers who met all of the following requirements:

  • Live within 3 miles of Walmart
  • Over-index on healthy/fresh items
  • Live an active lifestyle, have fitness apps or services
  • Prefer convenience-based services, like pickup, same-day delivery and other on-demand services.

Lifestyle geo-retargeting BrandLift doesn’t just give you access to customized audiences that visited OGP. You can work with BrandLift to create your own tailored lifestyle-driven geofences that align to brand objectives.The reality is, sometimes you need to nurture the top of the funnel, and one of the best places to start is within the organic context of consumers lifestyles and deeply rooted values. But how do you actually target values? Well the old way didn’t work too well – it was largely based on online survey data and website-visit affinity inference. What’s powerful about BrandLift is you can go beyond the conventional methods for modelling lifestyle, layering in geolocation-based data as well.Let’s imagine you’re selling a new barbeque sauce that caters to a Millennial male audience that’s weirdly nuanced. Well we can help with that. Just for illustration, BrandLift can give you access to an audience as particular as this, which is perfect for delivering brand-level stories, content and engagement that you need to grow the funnel.

  • Regularly visit the local gym
  • Have shorter commutes
  • Over-index on craft beers
  • Travel regularly for outdoor activities
  • Minimalist lifestyle, but sports fans
  • Live within 3 miles of a Walmart

Regardless of what you sell, you need a plan for winning micro-moments with consumers in 2019 that adapts to the subtleties that drive consideration and purchase: right time, right place and right message.

Now you’ve got 3 simple, powerful and easily actionable tactics for winning the online grocery pickup (and delivery) shopper in 2019. But that’s just the start – we’re here to help you take the next step and launch a winning OGP strategy. Give us a call or drop us a note, we’d love to walk you through it.

Contact us to learn more about our Brandlift™ online & in-store shopper audiences