Making it even easier for consumers buy blueberries

Making it even easier for consumers buy blueberries

Data-driven marketing can help blueberries land in shopping carts more often.

That was the view of panelists at an education session during the North American Blueberry Council/U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council Virtual Conference & Expo on Sept. 29.

CarrieAnn Arias, vice president of marketing for Naturipe Farms, moderated the panel. Panelists were Catherine Cowan, senior insights manager for Kroger’s data insight division 84.51°, Jessica Mahan, lead insights account manager for 84.51° and Jason Riis, founder of consulting firm Behavioralize.
Mahan said 84.51° analyzes more than 2 billion transactions annually, both in-store and online, capturing point of sale data through the Kroger loyalty card from nearly 60 million households across 35 states.

Mahan and Cowan said that Kroger can deliver customized rewards to their shoppers through loyalty cards through shopping behavior. The rewards motivate shoppers to acquire and use the cards.

For a fee, Kroger’s 84.51° works with suppliers and associations to share shopper insights and other services, such as in-store testing, evaluating e-commerce trends, understanding clickstream data, shopper interviews and other survey work.

“Within 84.51°, you can get a holistic view of product performance, to help understand key measures such as household count, household penetration and the traffic that’s coming into the store,” Mahan said. “Then we can even understand metrics at the per household per trip basis and then we have point of sale information like daily sales units and out of stocks,”

Starting habits

Riis said the concept of constructing new consumer habits leads to long-term behavior change.

He said retailers often speak of “shopper loyalty” when “habits” may be a better term for the consumer behavior.

“I buy the blueberries because I know I’m in the habit of doing it,” he said. “I like them and I use them in the same way; it is not necessarily some kind of truly loyal experience where I’ve got a philosophy and a policy towards blueberries.”

In the psychology of consumers, shopping for and consuming a produce item like blueberries is at least partly a habit.

“Some elements, maybe even many elements of it have become virtually automatic for that person,” he said. “And psychologists are now thinking something like 50%, or even more of behavior of choices are done in this habitual, automatic way.”

For example, actions like putting on a seatbelt or brushing your teeth are habits. 

“The question is, what does it take for something to become automatic like that?” he said. “As retailers and marketers, can we somehow help make things more automatic? That’s a good trend to do when you’re trying to change long term behaviors.”

For blueberries, creating buyer habits requires giving inspiration to consumers and making it easy for them to eat blueberries. That should address the shopping experience and the moment of consumption, he said.

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