5 min read
Super U, E.Leclerc, Cora, Kaufland, and Auchan are all very successful supermarkets and most have one store in my vicinity. I shop mostly from Super U and Auchan because they are at 5 min and 7 min distance from where I live. Kaufland is in Kehl and for that, we need to get driving but it’s usually worth to buy stuff for the long term from Germany. Still, everything in the image landed in the garbage. The recycling one.
“I didn’t even bother to read them. They landed direct in the garbage. The recycling one. Yellow in France”
And like me, almost all my neighbors. I can see them landing directly from the mailbox into the garbage can that is next to them in the hallway. That one is used for fast throwing stuff that comes only in the mailbox. I guess the cleaning staff throws them every day in the recycling one below the building.
This is what the mailboxes get that have not bothered to put the little sign on them “s’il vous plaît pas de publicité” – please, no publicity. In my building, there are maybe 40% of the mailboxes with this small sign on them. The rest either didn’t bother or like me, want to have the occasional view of who is putting the budget into advertising these days.
The above things usually don’t make it into my home unless I need the paper for some sort of painting project. I wanted to do a college and thought this kind of magazines have everything so maybe I could find something to use. Of course, I didn’t get to work right away and so a month passed. I decided to throw them away.
But being a marketer with a curious mind I started thinking. Why do they still do this? The supermarkets? Send a sometimes 20 to 30-page magazine of prices for products to each mailbox. It’s not like only one is doing it. All of them have the same approach. All of the catalogs look the same. Are coming more or less on the same dates. And each one costs to design and print.
I really felt like I am taking all this work and value and paper (resource) and throw them into the garbage.
“I can understand that this phenomenon can not stop, there is a huge competition between this businesses and if they are not visible everywhere in a form or another, they do not exist in the consumer eyes”
But is it really the best approach? Or can it be improved somehow?
I think it can. And it should. All of them have what they need to improve.
First of all, let’s see why this approach is overrated and lands in the garbage.
- It is not requested. People get it in their mailboxes without specifically asking for it.
- Most consumers in France, I am not sure about elderly people, do not know the prices of the products they are buying. That is because most of the working class people do their shopping either after work when they are pressed for time because the shops close at 8 or on a Saturday, where everyone is grocery shopping and there is no time to choose when the shelves are sometimes missing products you are looking for. For me, grocery shopping is a necessary evil that has to be dealt with because I need to eat. I prefer to delegate it every time possible. There are much better activities to do in the time it takes you to go and buy food. So to send them a huge almanac of products and prices is (the garbage can prove it) useless.
- Some stores are not big enough to be supplied with all the things from the ads. Or they run out or you don’t have the time to just go that moment and the offer goes away. If this happens to you once, that’s it. You do not trust that book with your time anymore. Conclusion: garbage.
- People don’t have time. That’s a new thing, right? But really. Can you imagine someone who takes the catalog from all three stores and opens every page and with a red marker starts to mark the products they want to buy from each store? Hmmm, I will get the potatoes from here because they are 0.35 less than in the other two. I will get my eggs and milk from this one, my detergent, and chocolate from this one, etc…? Seriously? Most of these stores host the same brands. Will someone take a day off from work and just run from store to store, with the car (use fuel) to just pick items that are on offer? I don’t think so.
So what could they do better here?
There are ways to get more conversions per catalog printed while adding the most important aspect of any consumer business into the equation. And that is the consumer himself. By this, I don’t mean add more pictures with him/her/them. If I had one of these supermarkets I would keep my booklet but make the following changes:
- I would section the booklet not on products but on customer personas. Somehow like IKEA is doing with sectioning the catalog based on rooms. This should make the customer at least curious to see what the section of let says a couple with no children has on offer. The family with small children will have its own section and the happy elderly their own. Maybe make a vegetarian section, a Bio section, a love of sweets section, etc. Why not? The stores have all the data anyhow from the consumers who have registered for those fidelity cards. Why not show them that the products they buy every time are on sale?
- Instead of putting all the products in your face, I would suggest a one-page solution for their problems. For example, how to remove some hard to remove stains from your favorite satin blouse. Taking them through step by step and what products from your store to use.
- Because most of these supermarkets base their sales on the food items I cannot understand why there is no recipe anywhere to find. I mean seriously. Selling food and not adding one recipe that can help someone like me grab fast groceries for a nice dinner with the help of the store is something I simply don’t understand. I’ve seen this in one store, Picard, the one with the frozen products. That’s a great customer oriented store.
- I would prepare a section dedicated to the items that are about to expire and ought to be consumed fast and get that boldly written out there. Those items will attract because they are super cheap and you will get consumers who don’t mind shopping and eating the things right that day. It would lower the return rate of products and logistics and raise sales.
- I would even go further and take some of the loyal customers and go with them shopping and document with pictures what they bought and why they bought that. It would give other consumers from that segment, let’s say, someone who prepares for a birthday party, new ideas on what to offer his guests they just didn’t think about.
Choosing to segment clients in the catalog would not lower the buying of other products because they come to the store that has everything anyway and will remember they need to buy other stuff too but at least implementing some of this approaches people would be at least curious to have a look at your commercial, go through it, get some new ideas and maybe, just maybe they will bring it into the house to tear up one page with the recipe, hold on to it when they go to grab the groceries next time.
At #bemarcable we are obsessed with customer satisfaction and building a strong relationship with them. We believe that brands who nurture that relationship get the highest benefits and can stand strong in the face of competition.