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Natural Grocers prepares for Thanksgiving sales influx with new mcommerce site

Natural Grocers is competing with other supermarkets during the cutthroat holiday season with a new mobile-optimized microsite that allows users to research and purchase Thanksgiving turkeys in-store with the tap of a button on their mobile devices.

The microsite, which is available at, lets users browse turkeys and learn more about them and where they came from while they are in-store. Once they are satisfied, customers can check out quickly and easily on their mobile device, and pick up the turkey right then or at a later date.

“This is a great example of how retailers can use mobile to deliver utility and convenience, by streamlining a formerly cumbersome process,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce. “Eighty-seven percent of millennials surveyed report never being separated from their smartphone, and most view organic, natural foods as a priority.”

Turkey day
Natural Grocers is attempting to latch onto the emerging trend of shoppers who do their research from mobile devices while shopping in-store. The organic grocery chain cites a research report from Deloitte that found that large numbers of consumers do online research before and during their shopping trips.

To capitalize on that, and on the upcoming holiday season which usually sees hectic aisles in grocery stores around the country, Natural Grocers created a mobile-optimized microsite for customers to browse from home and while they are at the store making their shopping decisions.

The site comes equipped with a marketplace for purchasing turkeys, an educational section so that customers can learn more about the food they are purchasing and make more informed decisions when it comes to the meals they cook at home and the option to pre-order the turkey now and come back to pick it up closer to Thanksgiving Day.

The site also hosts a number of consumer-friendly tips for cooking the bird at home. Users can view holiday hosting tips as well as videos that show them the best way to make a satisfying Thanksgiving meal.

Natural Grocers has also provided a number of recipes and ideas for customers who will be cooking holiday dinners to help make the big day a little easier.

To incentivize its customers to use the microsite, Natural Grocers is offering a discount to any active user of its existing loyalty program, {N}power, who pre-orders a turkey before November 1.

Mobile trends
The use of mobile microsites for limited-time campaigns has been growing in recent months, as brands and marketers strike a balance between the mobile Web and mobile apps.

Some brands such as California Pizza Kitchen have used them to leverage shorter campaigns that are not repeating or meant to last a long period of time. California Pizza Kitchen is using one for National Pizza Month as a hub for a contest where customers can search for hidden pizza dough out in the real world (see story).

The versatility of a mobile Web site means that it can be used in-store to make purchasing decisions, at home or, in the case of California Pizza Kitchen, out in the real world.

Natural Grocers is combining two key mobile trends – the microsite and in-store research – as a way of embracing the mobile tide that has changed the way people shop over the past few years.

“Natural Grocers has designed some excellent marketing around this mobile promotion and the mobile-optimized landing page experience they built for mobile traffic features a ‘days til Thanksgiving’ countdown timer, easy instructions, a store locator for pick-up, and even a video showing how the turkeys are raised,” Mr. Kerr said. “Smart retailers are finding ways to tie specific promotions to the right audience, and deliver a seamless and time-saving mobile experience.”