H-E-B has rolled out “storytelling” smart tablets from startup The Looma Project in the beer and wine departments of 120 stores.
Durham, N.C.-based Looma’s Loop platform encompasses a network of in-store tablets that play short, human-centric videos at the point-of-purchase to give shoppers a picture of the people behind the brands on the shelf. In announcing the H-E-B launch yesterday, The Looma Project noted that the Loop model brings authentic content and more transparency to customers in the adult beverage category.
Texas grocer H-E-B, with more than 360 stores, represents a new market area for Looma, which so far has more than 1,000 active tablets in its retail programs. Retailers employing Loop for their beer and wine sections include Midwestern grocer Schnuck Markets and Carolinas-based supermarket chains Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods.
“Working with H-E-B has been an immense privilege,” Looma founder and CEO Cole Johnson said in a statement. “The care and attention to detail with which they evaluated our partnership from day one has affirmed Loop’s effectiveness and product-market fit, while lending us industry-leading counsel as we’ve sought to refine and evolve our offering.”
Loop’s video platform is designed to spotlight the people and histories of selected beer and wine brands, raising shopper engagement and driving more-informed purchasing decisions, according to Looma. Content includes the backstories behind local and regional brands plus information about specific products, such as nutrition, tasting profiles, food/drink pairing suggestions and sustainable practice certifications.
Looma noted that by aiming to connect with and educate customers — rather than overtly advertise — Loop stands out from other point-of-decision content providers by providing a “real, human protagonist” and “authentic, unscripted narratives.” What’s more, the company said, Loop helps differentiate the brick-and-mortar experience from the convenience benefits of e-commerce by focusing on discovery, education and “a sense of connection.”
St. Louis-based Schnucks began deploying Loop tablets in the beer and wine departments of 89 stores last summer. Looma launched its platform with The Kroger Co.’s Harris Teeter in 2018 and has since more than doubled the number of the Matthews, N.C.-based chain’s stores using the tablets. Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Lowes Foods, part of Alex Lee Inc., began its partnership with Looma in November 2019 with the rollout of Loop tablets to 50 stores. More pilots are under way and scheduled at new and current retail partners within and beyond the adult beverage category, Looma added.
Brands see sales growth rise twofold during a Loop video campaign, followed by 25% growth in the following month and 12% growth over the ensuing six months, Looma reported on its website. Similarly, retailers sell 51% more items for brands highlighted in Loop tablets on an aisle endcap, and 60% of shoppers buying a Loop-featured product are trying it for the first time, the company said.