Millennial Shoppers Are Looking for Hands-On Experiences: New Research 
Retailers should consider providing millennials with a hands-on shopping experience, says new research from LoyaltyOne. This could include offering exclusive sessions with a consultant or expert in the field as a way to motivate this high-value segment to shop more at their stores.

In a notable example from the U.S. consumer survey research conducted by LoyaltyOne in September 2014, 84% of millennials (age 18-29) said that being able to redeem rewards/loyalty program points for a session or consultation with a chef or nutritionist would motivate them to shop more with that grocer.

Millennials’ interest around in-store sessions and consultations wasn’t limited to grocery shopping. Here’s how millennials responded when asked about other retailers:

  • 79% said a session with a stylist as a loyalty program benefit would entice them to shop more at the clothing store offering the session.
  • 77% said a session with a technician or software expert would spur them to shop more at the electronics dealer.
  • 68% said a session with a makeup artist would prompt them to shop more with the cosmetics retailer.
  • 69% said a session with a plumber or electrician would motivate them to shop more with the home improvement or renovation store.

“Marketing to millennials successfully will depend on how well retailers meet their unique needs,” LoyaltyOne Retail Practice Leader Fred Thompson said. “Offering sessions with a consultant or expert in the field helps to develop a meaningful relationship between the retailer and shopper, which leads to increased engagement, loyalty and ultimately, profitability.”

Survey results showed that millennials are not the only consumer segment motivated by expert session opportunities offered as loyalty program perks. Here are some other key findings from the research:

  • 69% of the general population said an expert session with a chef or nutritionist would motivate them to shop more with the grocer offering the session.
  • When broken out by gender, 72% of women said they’d be motivated by the chef or nutritionist session, versus 64% of men
  • 68% of women said they’d be motivated by a session with a plumber or electrician, versus 63% of men
  • 69% of men said they’d be motivated by a session with a technician or software expert, versus 67% of women.

The question about being able to redeem rewards/loyalty program points for expert sessions or consultations was part of a survey LoyaltyOne conducted of 1,034 U.S. consumers in September 2014. The survey’s margin of error, which measures sampling variability,
is +/-3.05.

Online Grocery Growing Faster than Expected
It’s full speed ahead for grocery e-commerce

“Online grocery spending is clearly growing faster than expected,” says Steve Bishop, Co-founder and Managing Director of Brick Meets Click. “The most conservative estimates we developed a year ago are no longer relevant. The upper ranges are where we’re headed.”

Bishop said greater access and the attraction of convenience are driving the acceleration.  What is drawing part of household grocery spending online for at least some shopping occasions, he said, are new specialized providers that are rapidly expanding availability and greater convenience.

Brick Meets Click has compiled more than 45,000 grocery shopper interviews since they began researching and analyzing online grocery spending in 2012. The company recently presented its updated forecast and the implications for retailers and suppliers in a new paper. According to the updated forecast, online grocery spending in the U.S. will reach between 11% and 17% in most markets by 2023.

“The fastest growing markets – where consumer demographics align with investment that increases access and options – could exceed the top of the range, but even slower growing markets could see one in ten grocery shopping dollars shift online,” Bishop says.

Although online grocery will still represent a fraction of U.S. grocery spending for many years, Brick Meets Click expects it to have a disruptive effect on many brick-and-mortar retailers.

“Online shopping appeals disproportionately to higher income and more profitable customers, so sales lost to online grocery will have a disproportionately large impact on profits,” says Bishop. Expressed as dollar amounts, by 2023, online grocery sales will range from $80 to $123 billion depending on how regional market conditions evolve.

These trends combine to put traditional food retailers in a difficult situation. The growth of online food shopping will cannibalize the market served by stores, put pressure on the costly game of trying to take share from competitors, and increase the importance of finding new areas of growth. "Who will capture the growing online sales is the important question,” according to Bishop. "Will traditional food retailers recapture lost in-store sales via their own online channels, or will they be grabbed by the competition?"

Postal Service to Test Grocery Delivery
The U.S. Postal Service has received approval from Federal authorities to begin a formal two-year test of a customized delivery program for grocery e-tailers.

Trials of such a service began earlier this year in San Francisco with AmazonFresh. The USPS has been delivering groceries to 38 ZIP codes around that city.

The Postal Regulatory Commission now has given the go-ahead for USPS to work with other retailers to deliver packages of groceries to consumers’ homes in the early morning hours between 3 and 7 a.m.

Inmar and GS1 US to Provide Effective Recall Management Course
The product recall management experts at Inmar will team up with GS1 US and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to facilitate “Efficient and Effective Product Recall Management,” a course for manufacturers and their retail trading partners.

The course, scheduled for Nov. 5, 2014 at GMA headquarters in Washington, DC, is designed to prepare regulatory, safety and quality assurance professionals in the food and CPG industries for managing a recall, from system components, the decision to recall, obligations to federal and state agencies, notifying customers, product handling and disposition, and more.

Training will focus on the end-to-end recall management process, starting with a review of the critical components of recall preparedness and flowing through to notification using Rapid Recall Exchange, compliance reporting and reverse logistics. The training will then break into two “tracks:” one for QA/food safety/regulatory personnel, the other for individuals responsible for communicating and coordinating the recall process with retail partners.

For registration information, go to,2 to see a complete agenda, registration and pricing, faculty list and hotel and travel information to help you plan the trip.

Former PepsiCo Exec Joins VideoMining’s Strategic Advisory Board
Michelle Adams, a former executive with Pepsico, has joined the strategic advisory board of VideoMining Corporation, the leading provider of in-store behavior analytics.

Adams brings to VideoMining a wealth of experience in consumer and shopper insights from her 10 years at PepsiCo, where she most recently served as the company’s VP of Customer Strategy and Shopper Insights. During her time with PepsiCo, was responsible for the creation of the SMART Learning Center, a retailer theater that is focused on state of the art consumer and shopper research. At PepsiCo, she advocated the use of VideoMining’s in-store behavior analytics platform and led several successful initiatives across multiple retailers.

“Michelle Adams is a fantastic addition to our advisory team,” said Rajeev Sharma, VideoMining’s Founder and CEO. “She is a recognized thought-leader in our industry, and her influence will be key to helping us to communicate the value of our insights on in-store behavior to manufacturers and retailers.”

Adams is well respected in the field of in-store behavior analytics, having served as a Board Member for POPAI, the at-retail marketing trade association, serving as Co-Vice Chair and Co-Chair of their research sub-committee. She has a Ph.D. in Political Economy from University of Texas at Dallas, and has served as an adjunct professor for the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and SMU for 15 years.

Red Diamond Ensures Safety and Ingredient Compliance along Supply Chain
Red Diamond, a family-owned coffee, tea and foodservice company, now relies on ReposiTrak, a provider of Compliance Management solutions for food safety.

The company plans to share its food safety documents downstream with their wholesale and retail customers. It is also using ReposiTrak upstream with their suppliers to manage all forms of compliance documentation, such as product specifications, Country of Origin declarations and Certificates of Analysis. The company also plans to leverage the system to tailor their document requirements for both low- and high-risk suppliers, where applicable.

“We at Red Diamond recognize the need for complete transparency from farm to shelf. We are pleased to work with the industry standard food safety solution, ReposiTrak, to ensure our over 170 suppliers are maintaining their insurance, audit and regulatory requirements to manage their brand risk, as well as ours,” said Neil Bogart, Quality Systems Manager at Red Diamond. 

Powered by Park City Group’s technology, the ReposiTrak platform helps manage regulatory, financial and brand risk associated with issues of food safety in the global food supply chain.  The platform consists of two systems.  The Compliance Management system not only receives, stores, and shares documentation, but also manages compliance through dashboards and alerts for missing or expired documents.  The Track and Trace system quickly identifies the supply chain path taken by a product in the unfortunate event of a product recall.  It can reduce the risk in the supply chain by identifying backward chaining sources and forward chaining recipients of products in near real time.

“Similar to Sarbanes-Oxley, legal responsibility for compliance under the Food Safety Modernization Act falls to every senior executive in the supply chain,” said Randall K. Fields, chairman & CEO of Park City Group. “We are very excited that Red Diamond recognizes the need to manage their food safety risk not only with their ROFDA wholesale and retail customers, but also within their own supply chain with their ingredient suppliers”.

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