The retail grocery industry is changing. Chains are struggling with thin margins and fierce competition. Online-enabled convenience ordering has displaced weekly, pantry-loading trips to the store. Automated, printed store circulars are still a critical means of directing shoppers to featured items, but mobile shopping apps are on the rise. So are click-and-collect processes and in-store digital offers.
A typical grocery chain with 200 stores in seven states will produce up to 200 versions of its 4- to 8-page specials circular every week! Without the right data management (and a rock-solid connection to Adobe InDesign), production processes are not cost effective.
At the core of these changes are vast oceans of data. Each of the thousands of items in an individual store represents hundreds of data points—from the images and descriptions in a DAM System to the product information in a PIM System or ERP system to the ever-changing marketing data, like pricing, inventory, margins, and sales priority, in one or more databases or spreadsheets. Multiply those data by the number of regions and branch locations in a grocery chain and you’ll see how big the data universe is.
The challenge of course is to turn all that data into meaningful messaging, which in turn guides shoppers to the right products with attractive offers. And, despite the hyperbole, printed circulars and inserts are still the primary vehicle for doing just that. A colorful, well-organized print piece is, for a majority of shoppers, the roadmap of choice.