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Which Online Shopping Platform is the Best for Me?

The two most common questions I get about online shopping are: Which platform is the best for me? Which platform is everyone else choosing? There’s not a good way to answer these questions until we dig a little deeper about your individual store(s) and your goals. AWG has partnered with three online shopping providers that offer our retailers options to fit their different needs. The right solution for one retailer might not be a good fit for another. Some providers build you a complete new website while others build platforms that fit into your existing website or are a part of a marketplace with other retailers. That leads to another question. You’ll have to take branding into account. Do you want your ecommerce program to be all about your brand, or are you okay with sharing some of the spotlight (along with customer data and marketing) with your provider? Each provider has a different price point, some providers offer different pricing tiers to fit your needs and budget. Some providers charge you a transactional fee while others don’t. You can pass it…

Online shopping attracts new customers and helps keep existing customers.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering an Online Shopping Program

Opening an online storefront is a big project that takes considerable time and effort to accomplish. With such a huge undertaking, you’ll want to ask yourself a lot of questions before you make a decision. I cover many of these in AWG’s Online Shopping Best Practices video. Here’s a sneak peek: Do you need or want a new website? Some providers build an entirely new website for you with an online storefront built in. Other providers build only a storefront that links from your website. Then there are providers like Instacart, where their brand name is the main attraction, and your customers have the option to use the service with other retailers. AWG has completed extensive research of the industry and selected three partner providers that align with our retailers’ needs. Each provider has their own price point with unique capabilities. You’ll have to determine which one best fits your needs. Our team is glad to help walk you through that process. Do I have all our store’s data updated and clean? When you sign on with an online shopping…

Online shopping personal shoppers

Selecting a Personal Shopper for Your Online Shopping Program

You’ve decided to make the plunge into online ordering for your grocery store. You’re working to get data flowing from your register system to your online shopping provider. Now, you have an even bigger decision to make. Who will be your personal shopper(s)? As the face of your store for the online customer, your personal shopper can make or break your customer’s experience. They have to truly understand customer service. You can teach them everything else, but customer service is a natural gift. A good place to start is looking at your internal staff. Who could be a future store director? That’s who you want to run the program. They’ll need to understand every facet of the store, especially how to pick the best produce and meat. In that regard, it helps if they shop for their own household so they have adequate experience. Your personal shopper needs to work extremely well with other associates in order to receive speedy meat and deli service. They’ll also need to be personable and have the ability to get to know their customers.…

Screenshot of Royals Danny Duffy video.

Social Media Tips from the Kansas City Royals

The goal for brands on social media is to create a community for its fans, customers, and potential customers. When you’re a beloved Major League baseball team, it’s not hard to get fans to interact with your brand on social media, but it still takes a lot of work to produce content. As a lifelong fan of the Royals, it was interesting to hear Daniela Duron, digital & social media coordinator for the Royals, speak at a recent Social Media Club of Kansas City luncheon. Although a Major League Baseball team is quite different from a grocery store, Daniela shared a few concepts that retailers can take into consideration when using social media. The main goal for the Royals is to make their social media followers feel as though they’re a part of the team. As a retailer, you want to make your customers feel like they’re a part of your family. The Royals do this by giving followers access to behind-the-scenes videos and pictures that they can’t get any other way. They let players take control so fans get…

Food Holidays or: Every Day

People often joke that it’s always an “national something day” and despite the fact that they’re joking, they’re actually correct. There is literally a national (insert noun) day every day, and many of those nouns are food. I recently listened to an NPR podcast about how some food holidays were born. Many of these food holidays were created by people and organizations whose job it is to promote these items. Others were created by Congress, which reached its peak in 1985-86, when one in every three laws passed created a commemorative day, week or month. The podcast also interviewed a lady who created 1,900 holidays just because she thought they’d make someone’s day brighter. National Raisin Day has been around since at least 1910! With nearly every day being a national “something” holiday, you’d think they’d all lose their importance, and that’s true to a certain degree. But you can pick-and-choose a few relevant ones to help drive traffic to your business and increase sales. First of all, the abundance of food holidays make for easy social content. A quick Facebook…

Five Ways to Reduce Spam Complaints

Spam, a questionable canned meat, and a questionable email. I recently learned all about the latter at a KCDMA event featuring Chad White, research director at Litmus, a local web and email firm. White’s research has led to the conclusion that consumer’s definition of spam email is changing. Spam used to mean only emails with malicious intent, such as phishing. Now, people consider spam to include irrelevant or un-actionable content. People are marking emails as spam because they are sent too frequently, they aren’t relevant, and because they don’t work in mobile formats. Additionally, some people consider marking an email as spam similar to leaving a bad review on Yelp. So how do you avoid being considered spam? Ensure permission practices are appropriate for each acquisition source. Remember the context: who are they and how did they sign up? If they signed up at an event, you may want to remind them in your welcome email to them. At sign-up, set the right expectations around what they’ll be receiving and how often they’re going to get it. The higher quality…

person holding cell phone

New AWG Text Platform

It’s been a year since I wrote the blog post “Why You Should Be Texting Your Customers,” so it’s time for an update! No, the numbers haven’t changed. Text messages have more than a 97% open rate and your messages are usually read within minutes. AWG retailers will now have the option to write and send their own text messages through our partnership with Media Solutions Corporation. If you’re already using the existing AWG text platform, we’ll be rolling you over to the MSC platform. Your texts will come from a new shortcode, and you can change your keyword if you’d like to. You’ll have the option to write and send texts blasts on your own, or you can continue to have your AWG Marketing Specialist take care of everything for you. What else is different? The new platform will cost retailers significantly less every month. Give us a call for more pricing details. What’s the point to texting your customers? First of all, customers who sign up WANT to hear from you, otherwise they wouldn’t sign up. They’re not…

A Millennial’s view of online grocery shopping

Online grocery shopping. You’ve been hearing about it for years, yet you haven’t seen it explode in popularity like you’ve been told. I’m starting to be convinced that moment is right around the corner. “I hate grocery shopping,” is a line I commonly hear from friends and family my age. “ I will definitely pay for the convenience of not having to spend time walking through the store.” A good friend lives within walking distance of a local AWG grocery store. Where does he get his groceries? At a Hy-Vee 15 minutes away from his residence. If he wants to pick up groceries on the way home from work, it’s still more than 10 minutes out of the way from his usual commute. He even passes one or two other AWG stores on his way. Why? Because he can shop online and pick up his groceries ready to go at the front door. Before we got married, my wife shopped for groceries when she knew she would be in the area of a store that offers online shopping. It was…

Keeping it Fresh – Content & how it affects your Google rankings

We commonly receive calls from retailers looking to improve their Google search rankings. One way you can help do that is to keep the content on your website, blog, and social media channels fresh. Just posting random links or recipes isn’t enough, though. You need to put some thought into what you’re posting, when you’re posting it, and who you’re posting it for. That’s all a part of your content strategy. At the November AMAKC lunch, Scott Schaper of Unravel shared his thoughts on why you need a content strategy and how to design your content. Search engines like Google love content, and they prefer real, trustworthy, and relevant content. But don’t think you’re creating content just for search engines, writing for search engines is really writing for your customers. You’re able to share your knowledge and expertise to your market (and to the search engines). Schaper laid out six steps to creating content: Ideation The first step to brainstorm ideas. What do your customers want to know? Let them see how things work behind the scenes. Answer commonly asked…

To blog or not to blog

So you’re thinking about starting a blog for your store. Good! It’s a great way to informally share your expertise about a variety of relevant topics with your audience.  A blog allows you to reach customers and potential customers with educational, informative, and even fun content. It’s a great central location for you to tell a story, and then share it via your multiple social media channels. Before starting, the first question you need to ask yourself is “Why do you want to start a blog?” Review your overall marketing goals, and your goals for the blog. A blog isn’t a great place to actively sell services or products. Rather, you’re looking to share information with your audience. While you’re not directly selling product, your blog posts will help build trust with your customers as you show your expertise. While you’re answering this question, you can brainstorm what kind of posts you’ll want to write. What do your customers and potential customers want to know? You can brag about an award your team recently won, tell a story about a…

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