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Woodman’s Foods boosts convenience with iBeacon shopper engagement platform

The independent and employee-owned grocery retailer with stores in Wisconsin and northern Illinois said that following the one-store rollout of Birdzi’s Personiphi Network last year, the grocer will roll out the solution all of its 15 stores next spring. The move is the latest example of a grocer leveraging mobile to increase convenience and value amid the rising popularity of mobile.

“Woodman’s has thousands of items on sale,” said Shekar Raman, Birdzi’s founder/CEO. “Shoppers had to walk the entire store. We now can make (featured specials) available to shoppers. They can do a single search and see if something is on sale. They also could be in an aisle and search what is on sale in that aisle.”

Digital shopping
Operating under the banner of Woodman’s Markets, Woodman’s Foods did not have a digital shopper program.

Woodman’s Foods app.

The location-based, in-store services and personalized offers can be accessed through a branded mobile application or Web site. The system’s enrollment and identification capabilities let customers to participate in savings without having to carry an ID card.

With the Woodman’s Foods mobile app, available for both iOS and Android, and a responsive Web plugin, shoppers can view all ongoing promotions in the store, create shopping lists and even sort offers by aisle based on store location.

Woodman’s needed a way to simplify shopping for its customers.

Since each Woodman’s Market store is more than 235,000 square feet, there are thousands of items on sale at any given time.

The Birdzi Shopper Engagement solution allows Woodman’s to easily communicate all store promotions to shoppers, giving them the ability to see what offers are available in the exact aisle they are standing in.

Since going live in just one store, Woodman’s has already had more than 2,000 downloads of the mobile app.

Customers who do not currently use a smartphone are able to take advantage of the web plugin feature for customized offers and to view their shopping lists.

Woodman’s stores also were fitted with Apple’s iBeacons to be able to notify opted-in users about offers in specific sections.

Grocers are increasingly leveraging mobile to increase convenience and value and meet customers’ heightened expectations.

In recent months, Walmart, Whole Foods and Safeway have experimented with or adopted mobile systems.

Walmart tested a new same-day pick-up concept enabling customers to order groceries online or by mobile phone and retrieve their orders from a drive-up facility. The Walmart Pickup – Grocery test took place at a facility in the retailer’s hometown of Bentonville, AR, where customers who had previously placed an order could drive up to a kiosk to confirm their order and then park in a parking spot indicated by the kiosk to have their groceries brought out to them.

Whole Foods Market made grocery shopping more convenient by allowing customers in 15 United States cities to use a mobile application to have groceries delivered to their door within an hour in a move into the growing mobile grocery-delivery space.

Mobile ordering
By ordering at or through San Francisco-based Instacart’s mobile app, Whole Foods customers selected their ZIP code, added items to a virtual cart, chose delivery within one or two hours or at a scheduled time and then checked out.

Easing in-store value-hunting.

Safeway also has experimented with mobile and online ordering.

“Through the Birdzi Shopper Engagement platform, Woodman’s can now offer personalized digital marketing capabilities to its customers without having to implement a loyalty program,” Mr. Raman said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York