Sobeys Focuses on Customer Communications
By Food in Canada staffBusiness Operations Food Trends customer loyalty grocery chain Sobey's
Sobeys Inc. wants to stay top of mind with its customers. That’s why the Stellarton, N.S.-based chain is branching out with more ways to interact with shoppers.
In efforts to boost and retain customer loyalty, Sobeys has gone beyond its weekly flyers, with interactive communication aimed at both entertaining and educating consumers. The grocery chain now offers a Facebook page where customers can post tips and provide product feedback, and it continues to offer its successful Club Sobeys and AIR MILES rewards programs.
Sobeys’ quarterly publication Inspired has also evolved to more closely suit customer needs. The 48-page, consumer food magazine now features recipes, tips for easy and quick meals, shopping tools, and entertaining ideas. The publication is available in store, by mail or online at www.compliments.ca, where readers can also provide reviews on recipes and products.
The added communications efforts represent a significant change in the way grocery retailers reach out to customers. “The old ‘ready, fire, aim’ of grocery chain marketing communications is finally being replaced with a more focused approach to the contemporary needs of their customers,” says Dr. Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at the Schulich School of Business. “In a wired world, accessible, understandable, motivating and more complete information that can be shared by individuals and their friendship networks is the way forward to not only improve shopping visits, but most importantly, banner loyalty.”
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