Home > Communications > Independent View

Learning How to Grow Your Digital Connections at the IGA Global Rally

Author: Bill Bishop
Bill BishopDecember 3, 2013

A message to the Alliance from...
Bill Bishop 
Chief Architect, Brick Meets Click 
Chairman, Willard Bishop

The IGA Global Rally in Las Vegas is coming soon; look to The Independent View in the coming weeks to learn more about the speakers in the Global Rally lineup.

Today, Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click digital consulting and a longtime supporter of the IGA Alliance and IGA's independent retailers, shares insights about his Rally session, which focuses on findings from a recent study of how 22,000 shoppers are digitally connecting with grocery stores. Bishop will be sharing more of his research leading up to the Rally and beyond as he continues his work with IGA to shape its ongoing digital strategy.

When you think about how the Internet is affecting your shoppers, it's easy to look mainly at Amazon and what others are doing to shift spending online. That's certainly important. Our study shows that 11 percent of shoppers did at least some grocery shopping online within the month before taking the survey, and that number is expected to grow 15 – 20 percent in some markets in the next year or so.

But there's actually a lot more happening in the area of digital communications between grocers and their customers. Our surveys show that more than 70 percent of shoppers are already getting emails from their grocers or visiting their grocer's websites. Here are a couple of things we've learned.

• Shoppers want to communicate digitally with their grocers but they're not willing to give up access to the printed circular.
• Shoppers are becoming a lot more selective about which emails they open since their mailboxes are filling up with promotional emails from retailers.

While email and website visits are now a well-established part of how grocers communicate with their customers, there are four other types of digital communication that are growing in use, especially with younger people.

• Facebook 
• Texting 
• Online purchases 
• Retail apps

Looking across all of the different ways to communicate digitally, it's clear that doing more digital communications is helpful to a retailer's business. As grocery shoppers increase the number of digital connections with their supermarket, they become:

• Much more likely to recommend that store to a friend or neighbor. 
• More likely to use that store as the primary place where they buy groceries.

So digital is not just a way to communicate, it's also a way to build stronger relationships with customers.

Looking forward to sharing more with you in upcoming Perspectives and at the IGA Global Rally!

Bill Bishop