Email Marketing

FOOD RETAILERS MADE much better use of their email marketing programs in the last year than retailers overall. Although only between 40% and 50% of supermarket have an email marketing program in place, the segment is way above average when it comes to sending out welcome letters and follow-up communications, Bill McCloskey, chief executive officer of Email Data Source, New York, told SN last month.

FOOD RETAILERS MADE much better use of their email marketing programs in the last year than retailers overall.

“Although only between 40% and 50% of supermarket have an email marketing program in place, the segment is way above average when it comes to sending out welcome letters and follow-up communications,” Bill McCloskey, chief executive officer of Email Data Source, New York, told SN last month.

Close to 100% of supermarkets use their customers' email information regularly, he said.

Chains like Wild Oats Markets, Albertsons and Pathmark successfully leveraged email addresses to drive traffic to their respective websites. Once there, shoppers had the ability to view circulars and download coupons for Center Store products.

Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop's Web strategy wasn't as successful.

Its Cuesol-powered personalized online circular was canceled due to low customer usage. It allowed shoppers who signed on using their loyalty information to create a personal ad based on their shopping history.

Meanwhile, price-optimization software empowered retailers in their promotion negotiations with trading partners.

Still, the technology wasn't leveraged as often as it could've been, Scott Langdoc, former vice president of AMR Research, told SN in April. He estimated that only between 10% and 15% of retailers invest in price-optimization programs.

Complementary technologies, like electronic shelf labels, are also under used in stores outside of Connecticut where the technology allows retailers to avoid item-pricing requirements.

Elsewhere, the cost of individual ESLs have been too prohibitive to justify their investment. But in 2006, the price of labels fell to a much more reasonable $5.

“It's a lot like what retailers have been waiting for with RFID,” Mike Griswold, research director for AMR Research, told SN earlier this month. “We're getting a lot closer to where the return on investment is easier to justify.”