16 May

4 things I wish my grocery store would offer (and that a marketer would dream of promoting)

By Erika Turan, APR

Senior Account Executive

Cincinnati-based grocery store chain Kroger recently announced a pilot program that allows that will allow you to scan and bag your items as you go. Then, when it’s time to check-out, the scan device transfers your purchase information to the check-out station and you are out the door faster than before.


Even better? The new system tallies your purchases as you go so you can hopefully avoid that “How in the heck did I rack up $120?! I only came in here for spinach and oranges!”  thing that happens to me all the time. And by “spinach and oranges” I might mean “wine and Oreos.” Don’t judge.

So, this got me thinking about what else my grocery store could do to make my experience faster and more enjoyable.

So Kroger, if you’re listening, here’s my  wish list from one working mom who spends a couple of hours each week in your stores:

1.     Shop for me. If I only need a few things, say 10 or less, let me use a mobile app or website to order those things to be ready for me at curbside pick up. Kind of like the to-go programs that places like Applebee’s and Bob Evans have in place. It’ll save me time and money (I won’t buy all of that extra stuff, only the wine and Oreos), and it’ll save the other shoppers from hearing the whines and cries of my young children.

2.     Just make the coupons go away. Hire a couple of those extreme couponers, and have them keep you informed of the coupons that are out there. Then, you just apply the coupons to each product. That way,I don’t have to clip coupons. Or carry coupons. Or juggle the blasted things as I attempt to shop. Or fish the crumpled ones out of my purse that I forgot to use long ago. And yet, I still benefit from the reduced pricing.

3.     Pretzel rods. Or a banana. Or a piece of bread. Just have a free, sort of healthy food near the front of the store so I can give it to my child. Whom I seriously JUST FED, but being around all of this food makes her feel as though she hasn’t eaten in days and simply can’t wait until we get to the back of your store for the free bakery cookie.

4.     Empty shelf notification. About half the time I go to my local Kroger, the organic baby spinach is nowhere to be found. (Seriously, I do buy organic baby spinach). I always wonder who the other spinach eaters are that it is ALL GONE. Sometimes there’s an associate around for me to ask, but other times I walk away. So I propose some sort of system where I can scan and send to you the item that’s missing, and you’ll then find me in the store later to give it to me. You can keep track of where I am, right? I’ll leave that part to your tech experts.

As someone who works at a Cincinnati marketing agency, it would be a dream to devise the marketing strategy around these types of concierge services.