The current state of grocery shopping
For years, consumers have been leaning more and more into the desire for convenience. The pandemic led to widespread changes in grocery shopping behavior, with people trying out ordering groceries online for the first time. Many have kept up the habit, as they’ve gotten addicted to the time-savings and ease of using services like DoorDash to do full grocery runs — or to get a handful of items needed to make a special meal without having to leave the house.
From busy families to elderly community members, grocery shopping online has made life easier for many: That’s why it’s predicted that 21.5% of U.S. grocery sales will happen online by 2025.
More recently, another major factor has impacted the shopping behavior of consumers all over the world: economic instability, inflation, and an out-of-control cost of living crisis. More than 10% of consumers shop online to save money and find great deals, while 46% want convenience, and to save time.
In order to increase supermarket sales, stores must be ready to be flexible, to provide attractive deals and creative offerings, create grocery ads informed by their community’s needs, and meet their customers where they are. Here are 10 ways to increase grocery sales, even during challenging times.
10 ways to increase supermarket sales
1. Create a supermarket marketing plan and build your brand on social media
From email marketing to social media to video marketing, there are many tools available to grocery businesses.
By setting up an occasional email newsletter, you can let loyal customers opt in to receive information about deals, new items, and even recipe ideas that will get them in the store. And posting on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok is a great way to reach new shoppers — you can show off your personality, your amazing staff, your products, and unbeatable deals and offers.
Marketing for supermarkets and grocery stores is best done with a plan in place. Choose your grocery marketing strategy and plot out what you want to share over the next month. Then, keep track of what works and what doesn’t, and use those insights to plan your coming quarter or even year.
2. Create and share effective supermarket promotions
A big part of ensuring your promotions will actually work is learning about your community. Take the time to dig into the demographics, desires, and needs of your community, and build your grocery promotions from there.
Classic promotions like $0 delivery on online orders, weekly flyer specials, and limited-time products for holidays have near-universal appeal, but also try to get creative. For example, if you have a lot of elderly community members, create a senior’s discount that’s good all week long but even better on one day of the week. And if your community has lots of students, consider offering a student discount on a particular day of the week.
After using and considering other food delivery services, DoorDash seemed to always have the most variety, full menu offerings, and functionality. These factors helped me determine that DoorDash could easily be my go-to food delivery service — and the DashPass was well worth every cent.
No matter what you try, it’s important to actively promote your promotions, deals, and grocery discounts. Use Instagram, paper flyers, email newsletters, Facebook, and TikTok to share about the promotions you’ve got going on each week.
3. Test and update your product marketing
As a store owner, it’s important to take regular walkthroughs of the store through the eyes of the customer. See if there are any sticking points or roadblocks, if there’s a pileup of people during peak hours, or if some products should be moved to a better location for optimal sales.
For example, you may typically keep your butter in a totally different area of the store as your fresh corn, but you can test out putting a box of corn near the dairy aisle at the height of corn grilling season — with a vibrant display that invites shoppers to consider grilling tonight.
4. Get creative with grocery item bundles
A great way to boost sales is pairing products together for an appealing price, like offering tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, or creating baking kits for popular holiday desserts like pumpkin pie. What’s great about bundles is you can play with pricing to still appeal to the customer, but increase your overall profit margin.
Tailoring your bundles to the needs of your community ensures they’ll be successful. For example, if you have a lot of young families in your area, consider offering baby essentials bundles, including baby wipes, diaper cream, and a few of your best-selling baby foods.
5. Optimize digital category management and digital shelves
Online category management and digital shelf analytics can significantly impact profit margins and sales — McKinsey found that a food and beverage distributor was able to increase margins by 10% across most categories and reduce SKUs by 50% by optimizing digital product management.
Your Independent Grocer updates their digital categories for the season, featuring shelves like “Slam-Dunk Snacks” during basketball season, “Easter Confectionery” in the Spring, and “Verified Vegan” for vegan shoppers.
6. Implement a customer loyalty program
Customer loyalty programs that let loyal shoppers accrue points or earn free items are a hugely effective marketing tactic — especially now, as people are willing to do whatever they can to save money. Make sure to print point winnings on each receipt, or have them show up on POS screens, so shoppers can feel they’re earning money back when they shop at your store.
Fishers has a grocery rewards program where shoppers can earn points for every dollar they spend.
7. Offer grocery boxes
Grocery boxes and delivery meal-kit services were a popular option at the height of the pandemic when people really wanted to get in and out of a store as quickly as possible, but it’s still an extremely convenient and effective product marketing tactic.
Let your customers buy their whole week’s produce and other food items in premade boxes: they can be put together and priced in a way that benefits your store’s profits, while still providing a better deal to customers than they’d get by doing their own shopping one item at a time. They save customers precious time — these especially appeal to new parents and busy students — and you can offer them for pickup or delivery through DoorDash.
8. Optimize the shopping experience
Make your customers’ mouths water as they shop. From baking fresh bread and roasting rotisserie chickens at peak shopping hours, to setting up free samples, to playing videos showing off great recipes to make with items found in the store, do what you can to make your customers hungrier as they shop.
9. Get strategic about product placement
This is a classic grocery merchandising tip, but it bears repeating: place the highest-profit items at average eye level. Customers who want to get cheaper items will know to look up or down, but the average consumer will reach for what they can see right away, increasing their average check size.
10. Make sure business info is correct all over the internet
The internet, specifically Google, has become the front door to virtually every business. It’s where your company’s first impression most often happens today — so make sure your website and your Google Business listing is always up to date with opening hours (including holidays), location information, available services, and ways to shop.
11. Use the power of grocery delivery and pickup
Meeting your customers where they are is the most powerful marketing tool available. If you make it easy to shop however your customers want to, they’ll come back to you time and time again.
DoorDash has a variety of channels that can help boost grocery sales, including listing your business and facilitating delivery and pickup orders with DoorDash Marketplace, and DashPass, which gives you access to the biggest and most frequent spenders on the app.
You can also run promotions directly on DoorDash, including free items, percent discounts, and free delivery.
Grow your sales and connect with your community with smart marketing and promotions
Feeding the community is the primary goal of every grocery store owner.
“If you’re considering signing up for convenience and alcohol delivery with DoorDash, do it. DoorDash brings you new customers from outside your regulars, and it’s extra revenue for your business. It’s allowed us to invest in a new refrigeration unit to help keep our delivery orders cold,” shared Omar Korin, Owner of Savemore Market & Liquors.
Learn more about getting your grocery store on DoorDash and how pickup and delivery groceries can help you reach more customers, boost your sales and improve your bottom line.