Superhero grocery shopping apps to the rescue.

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Photo Credit: Megan White

Ever make a grocery list only to leave it on your dining room table? Buy 10 things that you never planned on and forget the 3 things you needed? Diligently clipped coupons only to forget them in your other purse? Forget to tell your spouse to pick up some milk and eggs?

Grocery apps are here to save the day with everything from meal planning, to grocery list making, to coupon clipping.

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Photo Credit: Boomer & Echo

Checkout 51

An app that gives you money back on your purchases? No more coupon clipping? Saving on the brands that you love? Checkout 51 shows you what products you can get money back on and after purchasing, easily photograph and upload your receipt via the app. Once approved, the money is added to your account and mailed to you once you reach $20 worth of refunds.

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Photo Credit: Redflagdeals

Redflag Deals

Looking for a deal on everything from dish soap to tissue paper to cheese? Redflag deals has discounts from not only your local grocery stores but all Canadian retailers. Known as the app for the “where Canadians save.” If there is a deal to be had, this app will help you find it.

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Photo Credit: Supermarket Guru

Meal Board

Combining weekly meal planning by helping users browse a wide range of recipes, then creating a custom meal plan which generates a grocery list, this app gets you organized before you even get to the grocery store. Favourite recipes can be saved and best of all, you can keep track of your pantry items, leaving the guesswork out of grocery list making.

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Photo Credit: Push Interactions

Out of Milk

Take your grocery list with you wherever you go. Share your list with others in your family so everyone can be updated, create customized to-do lists and an updated pantry inventory list. Toting itself as the #1 most used grocery list app, the aim is to make shopping lists easier for creating, syncing, and sharing.

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Photo Credit: Boomer & Echo

Flipp

Forget those weekly flyers delivered to your door, Flipp takes them all and puts them on your phone is an easy, searchable app. Make the grocery list and each product item will have flyer deals attached enabling the user to find the best store for the items on their list and for the best prices.

Flipp aims to “reinvent the weekly shopping experience” by making the entire experience digital and easily manageable saving you time, hassle and eliminates taking out a full recycling box stuffed with flyers every week.

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Photo Credit: nerdtoenglish.com

Ever been frustrated by two people blocking the entire aisle while they catch up on the latest news? Dealt with long line-ups at the cash registers or shoppers with 15 items in an express line?  How about forgetting a bag with melted ice cream in the back of your car? Or getting stuck with the dreaded shopping cart complete with a wonky wheel that makes you drive into lane blocking displays?

There may not be an app for the absolute worst parts of grocery shopping yet, but by using a few superhero apps, you will be able to make grocery lists like a pro, meals like an expert and become a money saving master.

If you were to invent an app to make the grocery shopping experience better, what would it be? I would love to hear from you!

facebook Forget your grocery list again?! Grocery shop like a superhero with 5 easy apps that will eliminate frustration while saving you time and money. #groceryapps #shoppinglists #grocerytips http://bit.ly/2lFtPc5

bujyaso9 Grocery shop like a pro with 5 easy apps that will save you money, time and frustration weekly. #groceryapps #shoppinglists #grocerytips http://bit.ly/2lFtPc5

 

 

 

 

 

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Party Planning Tips for Outstanding Online Customer Service

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Photo Credit: Keystone Real Estate.

Lay out your Welcome Mat.

Choosing where your home is for customer service interactions is the first step to creating great customer service online. Customers need to know where they can have conversations with you and by assigning a dedicated person or team to responding to inquiries or concerns, you can use social media for building valuable relationships online.

Twitter is a great choice for most companies since it can be reacted to quickly making it simple for customer questions, an easy way for customers to celebrate your business and most businesses can provide simple support through a tweet.

Facebook has recently added features to its pages that include a Call the Action button, upgrades to its messaging system which can track response rates so that businesses can show off quick response times and are designed to encourage customers to reach out to their business. Now, it can even be taken one step further by allowing businesses to set their own response time which lets customers know when they can expect to hear back from them.

Linkedin groups share advantages over Facebook in that group owners can email group members and feature discussions. It is a way that you can present customer service information in a way that entices members to connect with you directly which can lead to greater loyalty and potentially sales. This can work the other way as well. As an expert in your field, reaching out to groups having discussions around topics that you can provide solutions to is a great way to reverse the customer service experience by approaching others as opposed to waiting for customers to approach you.

Instagram is slowly but surely becoming a contender as an interesting customer service option. With the ability to seamlessly text their favourite brands, this platform is a winner with millennials and Generation Z’ers. Having over 500 million users, Instagram has been working towards creating engagement between customers and brands with its “text us” feature that can be handled quickly and privately.

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Photo Credit: Best Friends for Frosting.com

Be the Hostess with the “Mostess”.

Are your guests business professionals, teens looking for a place to hang, ladies for a crockpot and cards night or is it a mancave of guys on a sports weekend?  Authentic communication is important for finding your voice for great social media marketing. Two components of that are voice and tone.

According to Kevan Lee, “Voice is your brands personality described as an adjective such as lively, positive, cynical or professional. Tone is the subset of your brand’s voice that is more like a specific flavour based on factors like audience, situation and channel.”

“Essentially, there is one voice for your brand and many tones that refine that voice. Voice is a mission statement. Tone is the application of that mission.” Kevin Lee

Being personal, friendly, and making your customers know they are dealing with a someone real and not a robot is the basics of your brands success but taking it a step further to ensure there is a genuineness to it means that there needs to also be consistency with the message and the mission.

Stephanie Schwab, takes this further by breaking the communication approach down to a four-part formula that uses tone, character language and purpose.

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Graphic Credit: Stephanie Schwab

Great guests lists are built by knowing what kind of party you wish to throw and  knowing enough about who is in your friends circle to invite the right mix of people for an incredible event. Communication is a two way street. If you want to attract the right people to your brand, you need to be speaking the same language as your customers. This makes for easy entertaining for both you and your guests which translates to better customer service interactions online.

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Meme credit: quickmeme.com

Every Party can be legendary.

Creating a vision for your customers and your business and then actively pursing it, is one way to create experiences that will leave people talking for days, or even years. Making sure that the vision aligns with what customers want by listening and empathizing with them, especially when there is a problem makes for a great guest experience.

Giving them a little more than expected is a guaranteed way to create memorable moments for customers who will share them with others. Once you know what your customers need and want, going above and beyond shows that you are listening and truly care about them.

Wondering what you can do to make an unforgettable customer service experience for your online customers? Check out these 14 examples of companies who know how to party when it comes to customer care.

How are you and your company going to party plan a social media strategy that your customers will be talking about for decades? I would love to hear from you!

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Great customer service begins by being the hostess with the mostess! Find out how you can ensure memorable customer service by going above and beyond. #socialmediastrategy #greatcustomerservice #onlinecustomercare http://bit.ly/2lcxqh4

twitter-logo Legendary companies were made with these 3 simple tips for online customer care. #socialmedia #customercare #3simpletips http://bit.ly/2lcxqh4

Grocery Shopping Drudgery No More

For anyone who has ever dreaded getting groceries, there are new technologies and concepts being created that could have the potential to make your local grocery store shopping experience significantly less painful.

Some of these have already been launched, to the resounding joy of mothers with young children, time strapped busy professionals, mobility limited seniors and grumpy shoppers everywhere.

Others are in patent mode and offer us a glimpse of where the menial chore of grocery shopping could be someday reduced to a simple drive through supermarket.

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(Photo Credit: DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR)

Click & Collect

Loblaws, which launched its pickup grocery service dubbed “Click & Collect” in the fall of 2014 in just three stores, now has grown to 48, with plans to expand across the country to another 100 stores. The service which has consumers shop online to order their groceries and then collect them at the store for a small fee is a big hit with young mothers and those that struggle through the daily drudgery of shopping in store.

Walmart also thinks customers will be pulling out their wallets for online pickup orders as a more convenient way to shop and is currently investing in locations to expand its own version of the service to locations throughout North America.

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(Photo credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Grocerants

Tactile shoppers who just love the sexiness of looking at amazing food and still feel like they are hunting and gathering their dinner will love the concept of grocerants. These stores are the perfect solutions for consumers who want others to cook for them but still want to go to the grocery store. Offering what’s referred to as home meal replacements, shoppers can find freshly made, pre-prepared food that is easily reheated at home.

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(Photo Credit: Natt Garun)

Amazon Go

Check out free grocery services using smartphone technology uses a virtual cart to keep track of your purchases and directly bills your Amazon account. Also offering Chef prepared Amazon Home Meal kits, the appeal for consumers is a no line up shopping experience. Currently offered in Seattle, this test store is the first of many in the Amazon’s plans to expand across the United States, Canada and Europe. For anyone who absolutely hates waiting in lines, this approach to grocery shopping is a dream solution and also eliminates a lot of pain points for grocery retailers as it lowers the overall labour costs of managing a retail site.

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(Photo Credit: the Telegraph)

Drive Through Grocery Stores

Imagine never having to leave your car and shopping while enjoying the comfort of your heated seats and stereo? A patent filed by Russian inventor, Semenov Dahir Kurmanbievich, has a plan to make shopping easier and more cost effective for grocery retail.

Using the concept of revolving racks, a conveyor belt, and packing system, shoppers simply drive up into a shopping bay and choose the items they wish from their driver’s seat. Like something from Wall-E, groceries are sent along the conveyer belt as customers complete their picks to be packed and rung through.

Driving ahead, the customer completes the purchase while groceries are loaded into the vehicle which will, in theory, help customers avoid long line ups and the inconvenience of getting out of their car. If you want to check out the complete drive through experience, click here.

Which of these concepts would work best for you? We would love to hear your thoughts about how grocery retailers could make your shopping experience go from dull to dreamy!

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Grocery shopping shouldn’t be that horrible. New retail concepts lead to better shopping experiences. https://wordpress.com/post/algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/48336

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Dreadful to dreamy drive through grocery shopping. #nomoredrudgery

 

 

5 of the Worst Reasons to Avoid Social Media Strategy in Grocery Retail

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Real relationships are made in the store and not online.

Customers expectations regarding customer service have changed. Retailers can no longer ignore how their customers are communicating. The use of smartphones and mobile internet means that comparisons of prices, reviews, and products online can lead to purchasing decisions that are made before our customers even enter our store.

For grocery retailers who know how to interact with customers socially, increasing loyalty and better customer relationships are the reward. Online content is an opportunity to create a conversation and tell your customers that you care about their problems. In addition, by creating posts that inform, entertain, are consistent and easy to consume, grocery retailers can answer questions around who we are and why others should care about our brand.

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Negative comments online hurt our business.

Unhappy customers are sometimes the greatest opportunity to build loyalty with a brand. By being prompt, public and professional, retailers can show their customers that they are listening and appreciated. This has a stronger impact than contacting a call center because of the transparency involved that shows other customers beyond the one that you are dealing with, what kind of company you are.

Customers have a much bigger reach than ever before. Where the standard used to be that unhappy customers could tell 10 other people about their negative experience, now with social media platforms like facebook and twitter, unhappy customers could tell 10,000 and in a much shorter time span.  The same could be said for positive experiences, so turning your unhappy customers into advocates for exceptional customer service should be the focus of any business that is doing business.

target-audience-ce-800We already know who our customers are.

Really? Do we? Much of our grocery business is brought to life around the premise of “if you build it, they will come.” Analytics provides free accessible data that can be used to get a clearer picture of who our customers are, when and from where they are interacting with us.

Customer engagement is the heart of successful businesses but in order to engage, we need to know who we are talking to and the why of what we have to offer from a customers perspective in order to build that relationship. Selling products that offer solutions is much easier than creating solutions to problems customers don’t even have. In order to do that, we need to be having interactions with customers to better understand their needs and take the time to discover the why of what motivates their decision making when it comes to choosing a grocery store.

While these conversations can be done at the store, new online technologies such as location intelligence solutions are the next step in providing great customer service with real-time offers that use social data to create personalized offers to loyal customers in the right place at the right time. The potential for these types of strategies is limitless and will completely transform the way customers interact with their favourite companies.

In order to do this successfully though, grocery retailers will need to have a very good understanding of who their customers are, otherwise these offers will be just be seen as New World Spam and could potentially cost them loyalty instead of building it.

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Flyer marketing is our best investment.

Costs associated with direct marketing campaigns almost seem astronomical compared to the investment in social media marketing. However, it is still tough to convince grocery retailers that the investment in online marketing is worth it because of the time it takes to build relationships that translate into increased sales.

By focusing on what the customer wants, then involving the customer in developing, participating and shaping our offerings, we can create a community that reaches beyond the speed and distance of traditional direct marketing offerings. The result is a long-term investment in our customers that goes beyond any interaction we could have with one week flyer marketing that pushes promotions or sales to entice our customers into our stores.

One doesn’t negate the other, but smart businesses recognize the need for both especially in an era where customers have become increasingly savvy in reducing the amount of direct marketing they view or deal with coming at them everyday.

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Facebook doesn’t sell groceries.

So lets just start with the audience on facebook which is currently 700 million global daily users and growing, with the average user spending 55 minutes per day and the average user having 130 friends.

Just over 80% of marketers are currently using facebook and there is currently an award in Grocery Retailing for most tech savvy retailer of the year. So if you aren’t using social media to promote your brand, then guess what?! You competition is.

Most consumers expect businesses to be active on at least three social media platforms and facebook tops the list. In an average week, there are more than 645 million views on local business facebook pages, and 13 million comments on them.

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Building a social media presence is not all about sell, sell, sell. It should be about defining who we are as a company, what we wish to be known for, and what sets us apart from the competition. It’s about cultivating relationships, showing our customers the human side to our business and building a community of following which eventually turns into sales.

We can call it building our brand, but it is really all about the heart centre of our soul as a company. Social media marketing is an essential tool in sharing that with others and connecting with communities of people that share the same beliefs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your customers don’t care…..they already do.

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Grocery store customers want more than your marketing. 5 reasons why you might be missing out on good customers.

https://wordpress.com/post/algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/46421

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Think your grocery store business doesn’t need social media? #5worstreasons

https://wordpress.com/post/algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/46421