Customer-Centricity Drives Retail Success, Precima and US Foods Report

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Near-term success for food companies will require laser-focused attention to the needs and desires of customers, not only in the marketing department, but also in the merchandising department. A presentation today at the 2016 Food Marketing Institute Connect Conference in Chicago sponsored by Precima, reveals that supermarket operators need to invest in the products, promotions and services that matter most to customers or they risk losing market share.

Titled, Delivering on The Promise of Customer-Centricity: A Case Study of Success, the session is presented by Graeme McVie, Vice President & General Manager of Business Development at Precima, and Chuck Sample, Vice President, Insights and Analytics, at US Foods. McVie reports how several leading retailers around the world have committed to customer-centricity as a more effective way to compete for customer loyalty and are seeing substantial benefits as a result.

“Walmart with Savings Catcher, Kroger, Target and Safeway with their loyalty programs and mobile apps, and, most recently, Whole Foods with their Rewards program have all listened to their customers and created a unique experience that really engages the shopper. They are constantly gaining insight into the consumer’s behavior to capture more of their grocery spend,” McVie explains.

A case study will be presented by Mr. Sample, demonstrating how US Foods successfully implemented a customer-centric approach across departments and included assortment, pricing, customer marketing and supplier collaboration to win in the marketplace.

US Foods “puts the customer at the center of everything we do,” said Sample. “We’ve branded our customer-centricity strategy ‘CookBook’. CookBook powers customer-centric, actionable insights through predictive analytics. These insights allow us to deepen customer relationships.” CookBook continues to expand as US Foods develops their customer-centricity journey and when fully deployed, US Foods believes CookBook will create more value across all stages of the customer lifecycle.

To truly deliver on the promise of customer-centricity grocers need to pursue a series of integrated, customer-centric strategies and tactics, including:

  • Strategy: Understand where the greatest customer-driven opportunities to grow the business are and allocate resources to pursue those growth opportunities.
  • Customer marketing: Create programs that capture the imagination of the shopper and generate passion for the store’s brand.
  • Pricing: Develop shelf prices that reflect the prices customers want to pay in exchange for the value of the product; integrate with customer marketing to deliver personalized pricing to individuals
  • Trade Promotions: Design and deploy promotions that deliver against category and customer objectives
  • Assortment decisions: Identify items that have high transferable demand and low value to loyal shoppers that can be safely removed from the shelf
  • Customer service: Recognize the needs of customers shopping in each store to tailor service levels to those specific customers

The keys to success with customer-centricity include executive commitment, a customer-centricity roadmap with the appropriate change management and a data and analytical platform to drive an integrated and on-going approach. The benefits to grocers are substantial with leading grocers, who fully embrace customer-centricity, capable of delivering ROIs of 5-8 times their customer-centricity investments while competing effectively by satisfying the needs of shoppers better than the competition.

Note to editors: The presentation from the session is available to those interested.

About US Foods

US Foods, Inc. is a large foodservice distributor serving chefs and foodservice operators across the country. Its customers include independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. The company employs approximately 25,000 people in 61 locations nationwide. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill.

About Precima

Precima is a global retail strategy and analytics company that provides tailored, data-driven solutions that drive sales, boost profitability and build customer loyalty. Leveraging our deep analytics expertise, Precima helps organizations improve their competitive position across all facets of planning and operations from assortment optimization, price optimization, promotional optimization, targeted marketing, and supplier collaboration. Precima’s credentials include solutions for Fortune 1000 brands and grocery retailers, including global market leaders. In 2016, the company was named among the Top 10 Analytics Solution Providers by Retail CIO Outlook. Precima’s head office is located in Toronto, Canada, with global offices in Den Bosch, The Netherlands, Chicago, USA, and London, UK.