Strive For an ‘A’ In Authenticity
Know your customers: That should go without saying, of course. But creating an authentic environment in a store that helps them feel at home can be a challenge.
“We think there’s a need for authenticity, especially to stimulate unit sales on high-margin items like foodservice and beverages,” says Brian Nelson, co-founder of Knoxville, Tenn.-based NewsBreak Media. “More companies we work with are putting a local, fresh accent on their product lines.”
Stressing local and authenticity can increase unit sales by 24%, according to NewsBreak Media, which provides a video-programming service for c-stores at the pump and in the store. And one NewsBreak customer, Nashville, Tenn.-based Tri Star Energy, is garnering results.
Powered by a concept dubbed the Programmatic Merchandising Platform, NewsBreak has created algorithms to drive a local, authentic strategy for its retail customers.
Customers are exposed to video “playlists” that are displayed on screens both in the store and at the pump. Playlists rotate daily or even hourly based on weather, day-part, local demographics and more.
Extremely targeted playlists at the pump can help bring customers inside the store. Once inside, interior playlists promote specific products—ideally those with high margins.
Tri Star Energy’s Twice Daily stores use commissaries to deliver signature items such as Southern Chicken Salad and Nashville Hot Chicken sandwiches. Such items “let your consumer know that you value authenticity,” says NewsBreak Media co-founder Bob Bradley.
A playlist might steer customers buying Twice Daily’s Chicken Salad Sandwich to select a low-fat snack to go with it. Because the sandwich is higher in calories, it might be best paired with something healthy.
To spark cold-beverage sales, algorithms recognize when the local temperature is on the rise. As it approaches 65 and beyond, a local playlist activates a Gatorade two-for-one deal or a 99-cent fountain offer. The result, Nelson says, are double-digit sales increases on these items.