Latest grocery market share figures from the IGD may suggest subdued growth compared to previous years, but the future for global retailers may be brighter than it appears, according to new research from TCC, a leader in retail marketing programmes.
TCC claims retail marketing schemes, such as voucher collection campaigns, have become an effective way of driving footfall in store and ultimately boosting retailer’s sales.
David Ringer, TCC general manager UK and Ireland, said: “In difficult economic times such as these, it is crucial that retailers continue to innovate and give their customers new, fresh reasons to shop at their store.
“Retail marketing solutions provide retailers with a way of creating in-store theatre, rewarding loyal customers, driving new shopper footfall and increasing basket spend.
“Voucher collect schemes are hugely popular with consumers as they provide shoppers with a reason to shop in the store time and time again, each time meeting a minimum basket spend. Our research shows promotions such as these are much more effective than straightforward price promotions and generate greater results in terms of both shopper loyalty and sales.”
According to TCC, major retailers globally have recognised the benefits of such schemes, and TCC is now working with global players such as Tesco, Carrefour, 7-Eleven, and brands such as Angry Birds, Hello Kitty, Laura Ashley and Royal Doulton.
Case study 1: Albert
Czech Republic market overview
The Czech market is dominated by foreign retailers, and according to IGD Retail Analysis, this trend looks set to continue as major players step up their expansion plans in the market.
Currently German-owned Schwarz Group and Rewe Group, Dutch chain Ahold and Tesco between them hold over 50% grocery retail market share. With foreign retailers having such a stronghold in the market, around 25% of food sold in the Czech Republic is imported.
The expansion of discount grocery retailing is leading to an intensification of price competition across all operators. Discount remains a key growth channel, as the market is currently relatively underdeveloped in this area.
Despite intense competition, there are also opportunities for the development of more premium products as affluent Czechs increasingly seek greater convenience and new eating experiences.
As the popularity of the discount operators grows, low prices and price promotions are becoming increasingly dominant. The challenge for TCC was to deliver a retail marketing programme in 280 Albert supermarkets and hypermarkets across the Czech Republic that differentiated the chain from the aggressive price driven promotions and incentivised customers to increase basket spend, drive repeat footfall and grow market share. Albert set a sales target to deliver a minimum 2.5% sales increase over the eight-week promotional period.
An eight-week Smurfs retail marketing programme was launched on 10 August 2011 in 280 Albert stores across the Czech Republic.
The family-focused retail promotional campaign linked to the launch of the new Smurfs 3-D movie and encouraged customers to collect a set of 24 Smurfs branded lenticular cards. One card was given away free with every 200 CZK (approximately €8) spent. A collectors’ album was also available for purchase for (CZK39, €1.50).
To support the campaign, thousands of 20cm-high Smurfs were placed in public spaces across the country. Each was tagged with a logoed invitation to join the fun at Albert. Albert stores were decked throughout with an extensive portfolio of campaign materials and staff adopted blue Smurf-logoed uniforms for the duration of the campaign.
As a result of the Smurfs campaign, Albert said it saw sales increase by 7.2% over the promotional period – 288% above target. The chain also raised its market share by 1.5% and grew its new shoppers by 300,000 every week – gaining an extra 30% of the Czech population during the programme. Over the promotional period, 21m cards were distributed in Albert stores and 200,000 albums sold.
Zlata Ulrichová, head of marketing, Albert, said: “We were delighted with the way this programme created real additional value and appeal for our customers. TCC delivered a campaign with genuine stand-out, driving significant growth in sales for Albert.”
Thomas Lehmeier, head of country for Czech Republic at TCC, said: “The campaign exceeded all our expectations in terms of sale uplift, the increase in footfall to Albert stores during the promotional period, and the greater basket spend that were all driven by the Smurfs campaign. We are delighted with the results.”
Case study 2: 7-Eleven
Hong Kong market overview
7-Eleven has over 950 convenience stores in Hong Kong, accounting for 61% of value sales in the convenience sector for its parent company Dairy Farm International Holdings.
With over 1,300 convenience retailers in Hong Kong and just two chains dominating the market, competition for market share among these 24/7 retailers is increasingly driving promotional marketing tactics.
Hong Kong is a mature and sophisticated retail market, which has a focus on being quality driven, and although price is not always the most important factor for food purchases, most Hong Kong shoppers are price conscious consumers.
Operating within a strong retail environment, deployment of sales and price promotions are commonplace in Hong Kong for almost all types of products and brands at retail stores.
The challenge for 7-Eleven was to create a programme to give it clear stand out from other price driven promotions that encourage consumers to shop around for special offers based on price.
TCC was set clear objectives by 7-Eleven to devise a marketing solution to create excitement for shoppers around its stores, generate market news and deliver a minimum 6% sales increase across the 12-week promotional period.
In recent years collectable redemptions within the Hong Kong retail environment have been extremely popular and have seen remarkable success, creating ‘collecting crazes’, reports TCC.
These have been proven to increase consumer interest in the retail establishment, helping them to increase their basket spend, retailer’s sales and ultimately market share.
Using the popular Hello Kitty x Tokidoki licence, TCC created a promotional campaign to be integrated into the overall marketing approach that encapsulated many of the 7-Eleven shoppers, typically profiled to be between 15 and 35.
For a period of 12 weeks shoppers were given the opportunity to collect a range of 26 figurines in two distinct phases of the promotion with special editions also available during a specific period.
Shoppers were eligible to collect a sticker for every 20HKD spent in store, for every 15 stickers collected (or five stickers plus 20HKD) shoppers could collect a Hello Kitty x Tokidoki collectable figurine.
Working closely with brand partners, shoppers were also given the opportunity to collect additional stickers by purchasing specific products within their minimum 20HKD spend.
Extending the promotion throughout its marketing campaign, shoppers were also given the opportunity to play a promotional Hello Kitty x Tokidoki game on the 7-Eleven website, where they could win a limited edition 16-inch plush doll ‘donut kitty’.
Sales promotions within competitive markets play a crucial role in producing quick short-term increases in sales in addition to boosting brand values and perception of retailers, said TCC.
The Hello Kitty x Tokidoki promotion delivered a high single digit increase in sales for 7-Eleven across the collection period. With over 2m figures redeemed and close to half of their shoppers taking part in the promotion, it was clear the campaign resonated with a large proportion of its customers, TCC said.
Simon Lau from TCC said: “This particular promotion was incredibly popular with 7-Eleven shoppers in Hong Kong where the market is very receptive to these types of promotions. The figurines resonated with the shoppers and created excitement within the stores.”
With a investment around 1% from 7-Eleven, the campaign delivered a return on investment in double digit percentages.
Rose Yeung, marketing director from 7-Eleven, said: “We were delighted with the Hello Kitty x Tokidoki promotion throughout our stores in Hong Kong, it exceed our expectations with regard to take up, increase in basket spend and overall sales. Many customers choose to collect their figurines by paying an additional 20 HKD once they had collected five promotional stickers, as they were so eager to complete their collections.”