The importance of digital in GDO

Over the years, with the advent of new devices and the strengthening of online connections, it has been possible to create new forms of communication and new ways of thinking about business. The number of people connected to the web has grown exponentially, especially in this last period where today's society is experiencing a revolution not only technological, but also behavioral. Moreover, before the "Covid-19 effect", the growth statistics relating to Italian large-scale distribution, although positive, outlined an economic context that was heading towards stagnation, caused by a certain saturation of the market. A market that, moreover, will most likely slow down also due to the aftermath of the health emergency which will inevitably affect the consumption of Italians who, given the lack of confidence in the future, will tend to save rather than spend, thus causing a contraction in consumption that is very difficult to manage. .

It is no longer conceivable, in fact, that the survival of the retail business is entrusted solely to new convenience offers or the gradual reduction of costs, which moreover risks impacting on workers and suppliers and, consequently, on the quality of the products that are put on the market.

However, it should be noted that when we talk about renewal, this word is used in the broadest sense of the term: change cannot be limited to superficial interventions but to a real radical innovation on the structure of the Business. This is why one of the areas that must be most affected by this renewal is the "marketing strategy".

More and more consumers use their mobile phones before going to the point of sale. An effective and innovative marketing strategy for large-scale distribution cannot overlook a strategic touch point like this, which can become an exceptional tool to stimulate purchase and increase customer retention.

An example of this approach is provided by the Despar group , which has created an application for smartphones, which alerts the consumer when there are special offers or promotions. In addition, the app also includes a section dedicated to coupons, one dedicated to collecting points from the loyalty program and, what is really interesting, a gaming area where the user can spend time and " earn ”access to discounts and special offers.

Esselunga , has activated the Ufirst app. Through the use of their phone, the user can view the nearest store, virtually take the number for access and monitor the progress of the queue in real time without having to physically go to the site. Only when there are a few shifts left, the consumer will receive a notification, so that he can go to the physical store at the right time to enter.

Coop also created the system CoDaC @ sa which allows the electronic management of bookings for access to points of sale. Just register on the site to receive an e-mail indicating the chosen supermarket, the preferred time slot and the booking number. At the scheduled time, the user just needs to go to the store and register the entrance with the help of an operator. By doing so, the consumer not only saves time, but also perceives the brand's commitment to making the shopping experience more comfortable and suited to their needs : all things that contribute to improving consideration among customers.

Esselunga, Lidl and Carrefour, brands have heavily invested in digital and now, after a timely community management work, they can count on a fan base of over one million and two million followers respectively.

The interactions produced by consumers on social pages are very important not only to be able to build a relationship of value with their customers, but also to be able to analyze the sentiment of users, their response to shared content and all the news conveyed.

All the approaches we mentioned previously require a long-term investment of time and resources, capable of managing this new way of doing business. It is not permissible to remain attached to a marketing view based on discounts and flyers. Customers and the market demand more and only those who are capable of having an innovative vision and ambitious goals will be able to remain competitive.

Kimberly GallardoComunicazione e Marketing | Bucci srl
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