Coke uses data on shoppers' smartphones to lure them to the beverage aisle

Dive Brief:

  • Coca-Cola has developed digital signage for grocery endcaps that use a mix of Google Cloud technologies to deliver branded video and e-coupons, according to CPG matters. The technology tailors messages to passing shoppers based on the data on their smartphones, offering brand campaigns, store-specific promotions or app-guided shopping lists depending on the individual.  
  • Albertsons was the first retailer to to place Coke's endcaps in-store in an effort to drive more traffic to the beverage aisle. A 250-store pilot with the grocer delivered a one-month return on investment.
  • The endcap display was developed after a decrease in foot traffic at the soda aisle. It was designed to stop shoppers in their tracks and provide value.

Dive Insight:

This type of digital interactive marketing seems like a savvy way to capture shopper attention and freshen up a classic brand. If another retailer partners with Coke to deploy this display, or if Alberstons expands its partnership beyond the 250 stores that currently display the data-driven ads, it will be interesting to see how shoppers react. While these branded displays certainly bring attention to Coke — and the beverage aisle in general — consumers may be wary of the tech's data-mining capabilities. 

Still, there's a good chance that shoppers, especially millennials, will find the advertising fun and engaging. More than ever, smartphones have become an integral part of the grocery experience as consumers look for product reviews, store-branded digital coupons or personalized rewards from apps like Shopkick Grocery as they shop the aisles. Because of this, data-targeted grocery advertising may be viewed as an added convenience rather than an invasion of privacy. 

Other manufacturers may want to adopt similar technology to lure consumers and make their products top-of-mind in the grocery store. This could also be a good opportunity for retailers to jazz up store sections that have begun to struggle, like the frozen foods aisle

It will also be interesting to see if this advertising helps boost the sugary beverage category, which has seen sales lag over the past few years. It's possible, however, that shoppers will still choose trendy, healthier beverages like sparkling water once the Coke ad has lured them to the beverage aisle. 

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Filed Under: Manufacturing Grocery Corporate Packaging / Labeling Marketing Beverages
Top image credit: Flickr user Mike Mozart