Have Your Grocery Store Clients Updated Their Circular Strategy?

BY Kathy Crosett
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For decades, consumers have relied on grocery store circulars to plan their shopping trips. They’ve counted on coupons to help them save money on their favorite products. And, circulars have often introduced shoppers to new products.

Grocers are encountering a new shopping era. They’ve shifted their product mix. They’re going digital. And, Aptaris research published by Dunhumby indicates theses changes have big implications for the grocery store circular and other ad formats.

Historically, grocers have relied on CPG vendors to pay part of the circular costs. Most grocers indicate that CPG vendors pay about 17.3% of the cost of getting the circular produced and into shoppers’ hands. These days, consumers are buying fewer CPG products at grocery stores. Instead, they’re putting private label products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and prepared foods in their carts. Consequently, grocers are starting to advertise more of these products in their circulars.

Research indicates the average circular is distributed to 8,785 shoppers. Over 90% of circulars go out on a weekly basis. Shoppers have plenty of incentive to use the circulars, as over 40% include coupons.

In addition, more CPG vendors show a willingness to shift some of their temporary price reduction (TPR) and other funds to support digital campaigns. Not surprisingly, large grocery operators with several stores believe CPG vendors are more willing to work with them in shifting funds to digital campaigns. While vendor money may be available to help with ad costs, your clients may find the negotiating process a bit challenging. If you have co-​op or vendor funds experts on your staff, ask them to help clients through the maze of paperwork and requirements.

Your grocery store clients are planning their circular strategies for the coming year. Remind them that statistics show 20% of shoppers are typically responsible for 80% of revenue. Targeted promotions based on prior purchases can be very successful. You can also help clients target consumers by improving their digital outreach. They may want to offer digital-​only promotions to specific shoppers.

Shoppers continue to spread their grocery dollars across a variety of store formats. If your grocers want to build their customer base and improve revenue, help them improve their circular strategies – both print and digital.