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Kroger, Ahold drill down on data

Grocers discuss the importance of data for tailored communications during Path to Purchase Expo in Chicago
Michael Schuh, director of product strategy and innovation, Kroger Precision Marketing.

By now grocery retailers have all heard about the importance of big data and how it can be leveraged to drive better business decisions.

But executives from two U.S. grocery chains stressed the importance of taking a more granular approach to data analysis during presentations at the Path to Purchase Expo (P2PX) in Chicago on Thursday.

Using first party data, Kroger can calculate a customers' average spend, what brands they're loyal to, within which categories they're willing to switch brands, and more, according to Michael Schuh, director of product strategy and innovation at 84.51, Kroger Precision Marketing--the grocer's in-house advertising agency that helps connect brands with Kroger customers.

(Tools offered through Kroger Precision Marketing include video, influencers, Pinterest, display and native ads, push notifications and personalized online offers.).

And with the drilled-down data, Kroger can tailor specific messages in its communications to specific customers. For instance, sending a deep discount to a customer can entice them to purchase a brand they haven't purchased before. And, of course, the more data a company collects the more granular it gets, said Schuh.

In addition to continuing its efforts to optimize and deliver relevant messaging, Kroger's goal is to make everyday moments shoppable and to be accessible to customers across multiple platforms. By the end of the year, 93% of U.S. households will be able to access Kroger digitally, according to Schuh.

Ahold is as equally dedicated to data and digital commerce. During her presentation, Linda Crowder, sales team lead at Peapod Digital Labs--an Ahold Delhaize Co.-- said the company earns more than US$1 billion in e-commerce sales a year and fulfills more than six million online grocery orders annually.

Crowder said the grocer anticipated more than 30% in e-commerce sales growth in 2020 and aims to have 600 click-and-collect locations by end of the year.

Want more P2P? Path to Purchase Institute members have access to more than 1,800 articles and a library of 14,000 marketing and merchandising images along with detailed retailer profiles detailing operations and strategies. Visit for more information.

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