Independents Urged to Embrace Digital Opportunities

LAS VEGAS — Independent retailers have more opportunities in digital marketing as the technologies become more affordable and the payoffs become clearer, according to Robert Hemphill, president, Webstop.com.

Speaking at a session of The NGA Show here, Hemphill told retailers, “Digital marketing has arrived. You need to act now.”

The opportunities include high-value websites, mobile apps, email campaigns and social media tie-ins, he said.

“The website is your digital hub,” he said. “Even if they use a smartphone, customers will Google your website first, that’s the starting point.”

Key website features to focus on include interactive digital circulars, high-quality recipes, regularly changing content and online registration and login, he said.

Webstop partners with IGA in a digital marketing program called IGALink for development of interactive websites and mobile apps.

Laura Malisani, CFO, Gary and Leo’s Fresh Foods IGA, said her operation’s websites focus on community involvement, and a lot of effort is placed on getting customers to visit the sites. She said the company reviews analytics and customer testimonials to discover how well its digital efforts are working.