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Social Media – Put It To Work For You: An NGA Recap

On this blog, we’ve shared with you specific social media channels and strategies for how to best utilize those channels for your store(s). We’ve even shared insights about how to integrate certain facets into your social media strategy. But what about your overall social media strategy and planning? Well, you’re in luck! The National Grocers Association (NGA) recently sponsored a webinar covering the major points you to consider with your social media marketing plan in order to get the most out of it. The webinar, titled “Social Media – Put It To Work For You!” was hosted by Laura Strange, Senior Director & Communications and Marketing at NGA, and Elizabeth Weddington, Social Media Manager at AR Marketing. They discussed the social media strategy process all the way from program goals to content calendars and tools. When creating and executing your social media strategy, ask yourself and your team the following questions. What are you doing now and what do you want to do? Determine Social Media Goals Do you want to increase brand awareness for your store? Do you want…

Coffee with Cart Graphic.

We’re in the “Betamax” of online shopping

There was a time, in the early 1980’s, when families had to make some hard decisions on how to best spend their home entertainment dollars. They wanted the freedom to watch movies at home on their own schedule. The question was should we get a “Betamax” or “VHS” player? For a while you could rent a movie in either format. But slowly Betamax cassettes began to fade away. Today, in 2016 we find ourselves in a similar predicament only in the grocery industry. Which online shopping method is going to be the future VHS? Instead of two choices we now have several. Here are a few that were discussed in last weeks Coffee with CART with Sterling and Schuyler Hawkins. Let’s see what other retailers are doing… Instacart: Several retailers in southern California are partnering with Instacart to combat the Aldi invasion. For a grocery customer to use Instacart, they first need to know which stores are partners. They go to the website using any mobile device, find their store, pick their items, schedule the delivery and groceries should show up in a…

Coffee with CART: June 18 Recap

Retail in 2015 is starting to resemble the Wild, Wild West, with everyone scattering to find the golden nugget. New technology continually is making consumers lives easier, while making retailers lives more complex. National Grocers Association’s Advancing Retail team is keeping up with the new trends and product introductions in the competitive retail space with their series Coffee With CART. In the June 18 session, three major topics were discussed: delivery options for online grocery, how passwords have evolved and technology that allows consumers to buy products right when they realize they need them. Online Grocery Delivery Expands While some retailers are still trying to figure out how to get into the ecommerce game, the larger, established players are testing out new features. Even the likes of Amazon know that ecommerce isn’t cheap. To combat some of their rising delivery costs, they are looking to a crowd-sourcing delivery mode, much like Uber.  With the movement of new companies into ecommerce, anything companies can do to minimize their expenses while continuing to drive value for consumers is a must. The trick…

100% organic produce section at grocery store

How to Successfully Market Organic & Natural Foods

If your store isn’t selling organic or natural food products, you should change that. According to a recent webinar by NGA (National Grocers Association), 8 in 10 U.S. families purchase organic products. The growth of organic and natural sales are trending upwards at increasing rates, reaching $29.5 billion for organic and $27.4 billion for natural in 2013. The marketing strategy a retailer uses for selling naturals and organics is extremely important. 41% of U.S. Families are new to organic products, meaning their first purchase of organic products occurred within the past 2 years. If 4 in 10 shoppers are new to organic, you have to keep educating your shoppers on organics and naturals if you want them to continue buying these products. Here are the top five things a retailer can do to successfully implement a sales and marketing strategy for naturals and organics: Start with your natural and organic merchandising strategy. What natural and organic products are you going to sell? How much space are you going to dedicate to this? Where specifically are you going to put that…

millenial shopper in grocery store

Millennials’ Grocery Shopping Habits: The List, Low Prices, and Convenience

Millennials have extremely high buying power in the U.S. economy — close to $600 billion in annual spending. Independent grocers need to understand millennials’ shopping habits and use this knowledge to attract more millennials to their stores. In a recent NGA webinar “On the List & in the Cart: The truth behind millennials and how they grocery shop,” two presenters from Santy explained where, when, and how millennials grocery shop. Santy used data from a self-administered survey of 550 respondents, conducted in November of 2014. This is what they found. How they shop: The List Millennials are big on making lists before grocery shopping. 48% always make a list, 50% occasionally do, and only 2% never make a list. Over half of millennials make their grocery list only an hour before shopping, but nonetheless, they do plan ahead. 49% buy ALL of the items on the list and 49% buy MOST of the items on the list. Thus, if a brand want to ensure that millennials will buy their products, they have to become “list-worthy.” For example, “Lays potato chips” rather…

Coffee with CART (1/29): An NGA Show Preview

As retailers and industry professionals get ready to head to Las Vegas for the National Grocers Association show on Feb 8, the Advancing Retail Coffee with CART (Center for Advancing Retail Technology) on January 29 focused on what retailers should be looking for while at the show. The goal of the hour-long webinar was to help retailers sort through the technology and get a preview of what program offerings will be most appropriate for their store. Schuyler and Sterling Hawkins mentioned on the call that CART has built an extensive website where retailers can explore the technology options out there, from online shopping providers to data security firms. CART has vetted and evaluated the programs and provided a platform for solution feedback, giving retailers a comfort level with programs their possibilities. What topics should be at the forefront of a retailer’s NGA show exploration? Here’s an overview: Online Shopping Online shopping continues to be a hot topic. Mentioned often in the Coffee with CART sessions, retailers will soon be, if are not already, having large groups of customers looking for…

Coffee with CART 12/18: Privacy, Mobile & Metrics

Privacy, mobile & metrics are main themes that have grown deeper roots in 2014 and will continue to be a main point of concern and opportunity for retailers heading into 2015. These were also the main topics touched on in the December 18 Coffee with CART. Whether it is PCI compliance, protecting sensitive consumer information like credit card numbers, or collecting location information from consumers’ phones, retailers are facing more situations where they have to safeguard data to protect not only themselves, but also their customers. With the news of hackings and breaches in the news almost monthly, the hunt for consumer data isn’t going away, so how do retailers assuage consumer skepticism when it comes to this data collection. Schuyler Hawkins talked on the call about the decisions retailers must make about their data and its privacy: what data to collect, and how to manage it? One of the hot topics related to this data collection is ibeacons. These location trackers on a mobile device allow retailers to see where consumers are in the store and what their movement…

Coffee with CART 12/11: Where to go in the Digital Space?

Think you don’t know where to start with digital marketing? Or don’t know what to do next? Or which company to contract with for your next major initiative? You aren’t alone. It’s all overwhelming, we know, we feel your pain and so does NGA. In a recent Coffee with CART (Center for Advancing Retail and Technology) webinar presented by NGA, the topic of discussion was this ever-evolving digital marketplace where retailers and consumers alike are feeling out which avenues they want to explore and embrace. Moderated by Schuyler Hawkins, Gary Hawkins joined the town-hall style format to answer questions about the new CART initiative and how it can help retailers who are overwhelmed by all that is out there. After introducing the initiative, the first points Gary Hawkins talked about were promising for retailers. Historically, Hawkins said, independent retailers were the leaders in the technology space because they could adapt to new offerings quickly. Yet as the bigger boxes grew and became more capable of implementing across regions, they were able to take a stronghold in the technological space due…

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