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The Fresh Market unpacks mobile-optimized ereceipts, further tailoring coupons

Grocery chain The Fresh Market is leveraging a new ereceipt program that enables customers to enjoy a more streamlined, paperless experience at in-store checkouts and opens wider opportunities for customized offers on mobile.

The Fresh Market has teamed up with retail software company Index to power the new ereceipt platform and further digitize the state of its bricks-and-mortar stores. The program automatically remembers customers’ preferences based on items they have already purchased, enabling The Fresh Market to follow up with those individuals via mobile and serve them relevant, personalized deals to incite future sales.

“As the world moves toward digital, The Fresh Market was excited to use Index’s ereceipts solution to deliver a more modern, paperless customer experience and establish an important communication channel with its customers,” said Jonathan Wall, co-founder and chief technology officer of Index. “Even more exciting, across all of our retail partners, the vast majority of customers access ereceipts on mobile so this type of program effectively establishes a real-time connection to shoppers.”

The Fresh Market operates 177 stores across 24 states.

On-the-go grocery shopping
Most time-strapped consumers nowadays prefer to complete their grocery shopping, alongside other errands, in the shortest amount of time possible.

Supermarket chains that implement ereceipt platforms and mobile coupon solutions have an optimal opportunity to gain favor with these customers, as the personalized deals sent to their smartphones will not require them to dig through the circular in search of the latest deals.

The Fresh Market is able to keep track of shoppers’ in-store purchases and leverage Index’s personalization engine to take advantage of intelligent algorithms and machine learning. Index also collaborates with point-of-sale systems, payment processors and PIN pad providers to pull additional customer data.

These tools help the brand serve more customized, relevant messages to individuals.

Additionally, customers who are concerned about losing or misplacing paper coupons can save their personalized offer electronically and pay at checkout as they normally would. Saved deals are automatically applied at checkout, allowing shoppers to have a more streamlined purchasing experience.

Shoppers have responded positively to the ereceipt program rollout, proving that paper receipts and coupons continue to fall to the wayside in terms of popularity.

“The Fresh Market has received a lot of positive feedback from customers who love the new checkout experience powered by Index,” Mr. Wall said. “Customers have been thrilled that after a one-time sign-up for ereceipts, The Fresh Market remembers their preferences and automatically sends an ereceipt every time they come back to shop.

“Preliminary results show that The Fresh Market is on track to significantly increase the number of customers signed up for its email communications, and the program offers tremendous potential for further personalized offers and rewards.”

Index’s full platform allows companies to offer secure in-store payments, build a customer database and customize shopping experiences.

Fellow grocery chain Fairways Market, which operates in the New York metropolitan area, has also deployed Index’s solution across its stores, a move that has seen the brand reduce gateway costs by 35 percent.

Scanning in mobile capabilities
Mobile has become an irreplaceable platform for a growing number of grocery stores, which are leveraging it to enhance their current couponing programs, weekly circulars and checkout experiences.

For instance, supermarket chain Albertsons is encouraging consumers in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas to download the Just for U couponing app to take advantage of the latest discounts, adding the brand to the growing list of grocery chains implementing mobile-first sales offerings (see story).

Last year, regional grocer Niemann Foods’ County Market division rolled out beacons to all of its 44 stores after initial tests proved positive, with a 15 to 20 percent engagement growth week-over-week and hundreds of new daily mobile app downloads (see story).

By tapping Index’s ereceipts solution, The Fresh Market is well-poised to boost in-store sales and prompt more customers to take advantage of their personalized offers, a strategy that other supermarket chains may also implement in the near future.

“Deploying ereceipts is a relatively new option for bricks-and-mortar grocery retailers, and it can provide an incredibly valuable channel to engage with shoppers,” Mr. Wall said. “Consumers want personalized, relevant experiences and this type of program delivers on that.

“As customer expectations for service and convenience continue to rise, we expect that brands deploying newer, innovative, mobile technologies will gain a significant competitive advantage over those who don’t.”