- AppCard, a personalized marketing and shopping analytics platform for retailers, has acquired ProLogic Retail Services, a loyalty marketing solutions provider for independent grocers, the companies said in a statement.
- “As the largest loyalty provider for independent grocers and a trusted partner to many of the best operators in the country, ProLogic is extremely pleased to be combining with AppCard,” Ross Ely, president and CEO of ProLogic Retail Services, said in a press release. “AppCard’s technological strength coupled with ProLogic’s knowledge and experience in the independent grocery industry will create a powerful industry player that delivers tremendous value to its customers."
- According to the statement, AppCard’s “vision and strategy remain clear: to empower retailers to understand their shoppers’ purchasing preferences and communicate with them in a personalized manner to build a relationship that entices behavior and results in true loyalty.”
Many independent grocers have long operated with their own version of customer loyalty programs, done the old-fashioned way. Store managers and staff typically know many of their long-term customers by name, and make decisions about product assortment and other store offerings based off of intimate knowledge of their local clientele. But with volumes of valuable data available to the industry, these old tactics may not be enough to compete with the advanced analytics and applications privy to major groceries.
The partnership forged by AppCard and ProLogic is set to bring independents into a more modern and data-driven era of grocery retailing. The tech company’s personalized marketing and shopper analytics platform is geared toward helping small chains and independent grocers collect, analyze and take action based on shopper data and purchasing behavior. It could be a way to level the playing field with bigger, and oftentimes deep-pocketed, competitors.
Kroger's best-in class Plus Card loyalty program and application of data analytics are viewed by many as the industry standard. The grocer applies predictive behavior modeling to segment shoppers and creates individualized experiences — including personalized promotions and tailored pricing — for its program members. It’s these kinds of customized user experiences that have helped Kroger sustain its leading position in the supermarket sector despite an onslaught of challengers.
As some analysts have noted in the past, more grocers are catching up to Kroger’s data-focused retailing model. Whole Foods, for example, recently moved to improve its data collection through a partnership with analytics firm dunnhumby. Perhaps even more interesting will be what happens once data-driven Amazon — which tracks its customers individually and has a granular understanding of not just what they buy, but what motivates their purchases — brings the grocer into its fold.
In this evolving and competitive grocery market, all retailers, especially independent operators, need every advantage they can muster to compete. Leveraging shopper data and analytics to track purchase behavior, pinpoint shopping trends and personalize marketing programs to foster deeper customer relationships could be key.