Deep Dive: How does online content drive in-store sales?

Dec 1, 2020

Marketing used to be simpler. 30 years ago, there were four ways to reach a potential shopper: print, direct mail, television, and radio. Now, the internet offers many ways to reach potential shoppers, from advertisements on websites and in eNewsletters to social media posts. And social media alone is complicated: should you be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and is Snapchat still a thing? 

When speaking about omni-channel marketing during the 2020 IGA Global Rally, IGA Marketing Specialist Megan Drazer admitted, “It’s intimidating. It’s hard. Your job is harder today than it was yesterday, and that goes for everyone—not just independents.” And with shoppers trying to spend less time in stores as the pandemic rages on, retailers need to do everything they can to help shoppers before they step foot in the store. So let’s break down how omni-channel marketing and online content can help retailers to help shoppers and how IGA is delivering an omni-channel "easy button" to help you drive in-store sales.

What is omni-channel marketing?

Omni-channel marketing is a sales and marketing approach that delivers a full, synergistic—or integrated—shopping experience across many channels. These channels exist anywhere a shopper interacts with your store or brand: the pasta aisle in-store, the digital circular, a social media post, your store website, etc. “Omni-channel marketing provides a seamless shopping experience regardless of how the shopper chooses to engage with your store,” Drazer says. In other words, when the experience a shopper has on your website connects to the experience they have in-store, that is omni-channel marketing.

“Not only is this approach good marketing practice—it ensures all of your visual merchandising, social media, etc. is connected and looks cohesive,” says IGA CEO John Ross, “it helps the shopper recognize your brand in multiple places, which makes your IGA store top-of-mind the next time they need to grocery shop.”

How does it work?

IGA creates online content that retailers can then use to engage with shoppers, like recipes or shopping tips. When shoppers read or watch that content, it increases their buying confidence and drives more in-store sales. In fact, according to Drazer's research, a shopper who can read online product reviews will spend 40 percent more than a shopper who doesn't have access to reviews. “When shoppers are confident in their choices, they have a better association with your brand,” Drazer says.

IGA has developed several omni-channel marketing campaigns for retailers using the following four-step process, from planning to sales. 

  • Plan the strategy and partnerships that will develop and make the content
  • Attract shoppers by sharing the content through digital and print advertising and in the National Digital Ad
  • Interact with shoppers by using IGA’s in-store signage 
  • Grow sales by fostering the relationship with shoppers through loyalty programs, in-store promotions, and social media 

The more shoppers interact with an omni-channel marketing campaign, the stronger their association will be with the brand. For example, using IGA’s pet signage inside the store, retailers call attention to their pet aisle. Taking it a step further, you can add a QR code sign in the aisle that links to content, like the article Holiday Human Foods Dogs Can & Can’t Eat. “What better way to draw your shoppers in than to teach them how to keep their pet safe?” says Drazer. “Now your shoppers are feeling great, they know you have their back, and they want more information, so they subscribe to our pet newsletter.” From there, IGA can send the shopper updates on sales, product innovations, and more content, therefore solidifying the relationship, building buyer confidence, and driving sales.

How it drives sales: a case study on Family Meals Made Easy!

IGA’s Family Meals Made Easy! campaign showcases omni-channel marketing in practice for retailers. “This campaign was born out of shopper data suggesting they are on a budget and desperate for meal solutions,” says Drazer. “The campaign creates a meal solution destination within your store.” 

IGA shoppers have the opportunity to interact with the Family Meals Made Easy! campaign multiple times. The featured recipe alone can be found six different ways:

  1. On
  2. On in-store signage and recipe cards, available through the IGA POP kit that retailers can order for just $75 to build Family Meals Made Easy! displays featuring recipe ingredients and savings shelf tags that highlight products featured in the National Digital Ad
  3. In the National Digital Ad (where shoppers can add the entire ingredient list to their shopping list in one click)
  4. In the IGA Recipe Club email (new recipes sent twice a month)
  5. On social media (stores can share recipes on their social media pages)
  6. On a retailer’s eCommerce website (featured recipes are added automatically for stores signed up on the IGA-Freshop program)

And while IGA’s programs, like the National Digital Ad 2.0, eCommerce, and IGA Social programs all update the content automatically for retailers, they don’t have to be signed up for any of these programs to use the content. “All of this content is available to everyone—even if you already have your own established eCommerce solution, this is content that we want you to use,” Drazer says. “It’s great content—don’t miss the opportunity to engage with your shoppers on and off-line.”

To start, retailers can grab a recipe from the Recipe Club eNewsletter or on and share it with shoppers on their Facebook pages with the click of a button, like Archie's IGA did in the Halloween-themed post below.


For a bit more investment, retailers can order the Family Meals Made Easy! POP kit to set up an end cap and update the products on those shelves every two weeks to reflect the new recipe in the National Digital Ad (find the schedule here).

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IGA Exclusive Brand and Coca-Cola products are featured on a Family Meals Made Easy! end cap.

Retailers already on IGA's eCommerce program will see these recipes updated on their website, allowing shoppers to interact with the content online while they're searching for recipes (see example below). Those shoppers will then add ingredients from the recipe to their shopping list, translating that online content directly into in-store sales. Shoppers will also see these recipes in the National Digital Ad, where they can add the entire ingredient list to their digital shopping list with the click of a button.


The summer fresh salad featured recipe is automatically loaded onto this IGA eCommerce website, courtesy of IGA's eCommerce program.

The very nature of omni-channel marketing is complex, with multiple types of content and channels to share that content, but Drazer assures retailers that IGA is doing the heavy lifting. "We’ve designed it to make it as easy as possible for you," she says. "You just need to take it a little step further by promoting in store, posting about it on your social media channels, and getting it onto your website if it isn’t a site where it’s already being published for you.” 

With the content ready for every IGA retailer to start using now, there's no better time to try omni-channel marketing. Start small—grab a recipe off and share it on your store's Facebook page. Want to dive in? Sign up for IGA's eCommerce program or National Digital Ad to have recipes added automatically to your website or digital circular. 

For more information on omni-channel marketing and how it can build shopper confidence and loyalty and drive in-store sales, watch the session from the IGA Global Rally below. 

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