The circular has always been considered a marketing cornerstone for supermarkets. However, with a widespread consumer shift to digital mediums, the Weekly Print Ad isn’t yielding the same audience or engagement that it used to.

In fact, for the majority of shoppers today, the print circular is completely irrelevant: two-thirds of all baskets do not include a single advertised item from the same week’s Print Ad.

That’s not just a lot of wasted paper – it’s a lot of wasted opportunity.

Shoppers want a better alternative.

77% consumers want circulars to go digital, and 60% of people who don’t check print circulars would check a digital circular. That’s a massive new audience waiting to be tapped.

While many grocery retailers have recognized thisoverwhelming consumer demand and made their Weekly Ad available through their website, this is still not addressing the root issue faced by the print circular – lack of relevance.

Additionally, by placing the Weekly Ad, which is designed for print, onto a digital medium where customer interactions and expectations are different, retailers are delivering an experience that is, by default, set up to fail.

For example, viewing the Weekly Ad on a mobile device, where the screen is much smaller than the size of a page in the ad, is an experience few customers will put up with.

Some retailers have recognized these issues and have taken a different approach – a digital Weekly Ad not based on the image of the print version, but instead showcasing a generic list of the products on sale that week with a standardized look (often referred to as a “grid circular”).

While this might work well on mobile devices, the approach fails to represent the unique branding and excitement found within the print ad.

Given the overwhelming visual difference between the two, this leaves customers confused and unsure if they are indeed looking at the Weekly Ad.

Both approaches yield significant drawbacks, resulting in an online circular that does not make the most of the medium and does not meet the expectations of the modern shopper.

The online circular needs to be approached from a digital-first, shopper-first experience.

When it comes to the digital experience, retailers need to move away from the print version entirely and build a brand new online experience that takes advantage of all that online has to offer — personalization, omni-channel support, measurability and interactivity. By taking a clean slate approach, retailers can enable the best and most relevant experience for the digital medium and digitally-inclined shopper.

So the question is…

What exactly does this “clean-slate”, “digital-first”, “shopper-first” circular look like?

Here are six things that are absolutely essential to your grocery eCircular moving forward:

  1. Automated 1-to-1 Personalization, yielding a unique Weekly Ad for each shopper.
  2. An omni-channel experience that is designed to work well on mobile.
  3. A visually pleasing experience, that includes all of the branding and imagery found in the print version.
  4. An eCircular that supports all offer types available in store.      
  5. Interactivity with offers to help shoppers save and manage their budgets.
  6. Integration with Loyalty program to measure the impact of the eCircular on in-store sales.

Your customers have spoken: grocers need digital circulars. Now, it’s up to you to do it right.

To learn more ways to increase sales through a state-of-the-art eCommerce user experience, download our whitepaper.  

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