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Disruptors 2017: Channel 3

This is part of Supermarket News’ 2017 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here.

Grocers are looking for ways to encourage customers to visit their stores more frequently and spend more when they’re there. Channel 3 is a new platform where retailers and brands make this happen. It’s a new technology platform that opens the way for CPG brands to deliver digital purchase incentives to consumers as they go up and down the aisles. All the shopper needs to do to save on brands they like is to stop at one of up to 20 tablets located conveniently throughout the store and key in the last four digits of her phone number. The shopper then sees a list of digital CPG purchase incentives personalized to reflect her buying habits, and she just indicate which ones she wants to use on this trip and keep shopping. Those savings are there when she checks out.

Channel 3 arrives on the scene at a time when a lot of marketing and promotional spend is shifting online. It’s getting easier with the growing availability of e-commerce for customers to skip the visit to the store, order online, and just pick up their groceries or have them delivered. Both retailers and CPG brands need to more aggressively take the war for customers to the store, or watch purchases continue to drift online.

Consumers are always interested in finding ways to save when buying products they want. The challenge up until now is that there hasn’t been a platform that could deliver personalized offers and reduce prices to consumers just at the time when they’re getting ready to make a purchase decision. By delivering this value to shoppers when they’re standing right in front of the product, the offer has maximum relevance and impact.

One of the breakthrough features of Channel 3 is the fast, easy and shopper-controlled way that the consumer connects with savings. All they need to do is to stop at one of the many screens located throughout the store and choose the savings they want from a short list built exclusively for them. No need to fumble with their phone to sort out offers. They are in control and that makes a big difference in their attitude toward the value they’re getting.

Channel 3 is the first in what will inevitably be a series of major innovations enabled by the retailer’s own in-store communications network. While leading grocers have already deployed WiFi, to our knowledge Channel 3 is the first storewide execution of this concept that gives the retailer an entirely new communications media to connect and interact with customers, in a personalized way, as they shop the store.

Channel 3 also ushers in a change in the process of handling consumer purchase incentives for both the retailers and the brands improving efficiency and increasing profitability by integrating into the retailer’s POS system to ensure that there’s always a product purchased along with the promotion, eliminating the cost and problems related to redemption.

Channel 3 disrupts the current way retailers and brands promote together in-store. It strengthens the brick-and-mortar retailer’s position in the war to win more of the customer’s business and provides brands with a scalable way to connect with key consumer segments.

This digital disruption will help, not hurt, retailers and brands as they work together to strengthen the marketing channel that both of them depend on for future growth and profit.

Bill Bishop is chief architect of Brick Meets Click.

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