The ads usually show which products have had prices slashed, how much money shoppers can save and how much cheaper the given grocer is than its competitors.
This strategy is essential in the current climate and for Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, it’s fair game. Their customers want cheap products and they don’t have that much brand loyalty – they will be swayed by whichever store offers the best deals.
For the more upmarket grocers – namely Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – price promotion campaigns are more complicated. Of course, in this climate they are necessary – and both grocers have gone out of their way to show that they are competitive on price with their nearest rival. Yet they also need to be careful not to alienate their core customers. They don’t want to appear to be compromising on quality because their prices are cheaper.
This week Sainsbury’s hit the nail on the head. It launched a digital strategy to give shoppers tips on how to save money, which bridges the gap between being competitive on price and scrimping on quality.
Using a portal on its web site, Sainsbury’s will give customers tips on saving money, whether that be taking advantage of the latest deals on offer, switching to own-brand products, wasting less food, or cooking with leftovers.
The portal doesn’t shout out at you on the Sainsbury’s home page in the same way that Tesco’s recently launched Discounter range does. Rather, it is there if you’re the kind of shopper that is keen to save money, but can be ignored if you’re the kind that just wants to get in and out for the usual online grocery shop.
The money-saving tips are written in an editorial, blog style. And if shoppers like what they see, they can sign up to receive RSS updates and bookmark the articles for later reference.
Sainsbury’s is connecting with its customers in an innovative, yet discreet way. Of course, the grocer made a song and dance about its Switch and Save ad campaign earlier this month, but the digital strategy allows Sainsbury’s to go into much greater depth with the money-saving theme.
It’s a fiercely aggressive grocery market at the moment and each supermarket is fighting tooth and nail for market share. Sainsbury’s can shout with the best of them, but if its money-saving digital strategy takes off, shoppers will use it as an advice bureau. And if that happens, Sainsbury’s could be front of shoppers’ minds long after the latest price deal on page 10 of a newspaper.