When you think of innovative and creative advertising, a grocery store probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. Grocery stores are known for using traditional marketing methods such as TV advertisements and promotional coupons in the weekly paper. But, these methods aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be, which is why some grocery stores have started to venture into the world of experiential marketing. Grocery stores aren’t the first retailers to try experiential marketing. Many other retailers, including Reebok, Samsung, and even Staples have already launched successful in-store experiential marketing events to create buzz around their businesses.
How can grocery stores incorporate experiential strategies into their marketing plans? Here are some of the best experiential marketing ideas to draw more customers into your store:
Grocery stores can host in-store events with cooking classes. Invite people from the community to spend an evening in your grocery store learning how to cook seasonal recipes using ingredients found in your store. These cooking classes could even be promoted as a “couples’ cooking class” to draw more people in on date night. This is a great way to connect with people in the community, bring them back into your store, and show them how to use products that you sell to create meals at home.
Many grocery stores have small stands located throughout the store with recipe cards that customers can pick up bring home with them. But, it’s time to modernize the process of finding recipes while shopping for groceries. To encourage your customers to spend more money once they’re in store, set up a station with tablets displaying recipes that consumers can email to themselves. This allows customers to discover new recipes and new ingredients. Similar to the previous example, this encourages customers to try to make more meals at home instead of relying on restaurants so they spend more money in your store.
Food & Wine Bars
To turn grocery shopping into a more enjoyable experience, stores should consider adding food and wine bars. Obviously, adding a permanent food and wine bar would require a complete renovation of the store. But, you don’t have to completely transform your store in order to serve guests food and wine as part of an experience. Customers love the idea of being able to enjoy food and wine at a grocery store because it makes grocery shopping seem like more of a fun experience than a tedious chore. Instead of having to race up and down the aisles looking for the items they need, customers can order a snack, sit and catch up with a friend, and then go browse through the store.
If you decide to host an event with a food or wine bar, connect with the community by serving locally sourced foods. This will show your commitment to the community that you’re in, and it will also attract more eco-conscious customers that only want to shop local.