Grocery Sites Say Compare and Save
By George Anderson
For Joann Gage’s sake, we hope this isn’t a case of famous last words.
Ms. Gage, vice president for advertising and marketing at the struggling Winn-Dixie supermarket chain, doesn’t expect that new comparison-shopping sites for groceries, such as www.cairo.com or www.shoplocal.com, will have much of an impact on the day-to-day business of companies such as hers.
She told The Miami Herald, “It’s something people can go to as a tool, but I don’t think they would use it day in and day out. It seems like it would be easier to look at the hard copies of the ads or go online to the individual sites.”
Andy Moss, founder and CEO of the cairo.com Web site, is betting that Ms. Gage is wrong.
‘We’re positioning ourselves as the place to go online to help you shop offline,’ he said.
“What we’re trying to do is deliver that savings back into the consumer’s pocket. We want to help them know when it’s a good deal and it’s time to buy,” he added.
Consumers can go to the Cairo site and type in their ZIP Code to do a search for a specific item in the same manner they would use other search engines. Grocery shoppers can either type in a broad category of products for more results or drill down to a specific brand.
“It’s a real time saver for people,” said Melissa Severin, a spokesperson for ShopLocal. “Most people don’t have time to run around to multiple grocery stores.”
The services are not developed to get customers a price on everything on their shopping list, say Cairo and ShopLocal, but they will include all advertised product prices.
“For a price-conscious consumer, it’s a great tool,” said Chuck Gilmer, editor of the Shelby Report. “If you can go to one spot and get all the circulars, it has a lot of advantages.”
Moderator’s Comment: How will technology used by consumers, online and off, impact pricing at grocery in the near future and in the longer term?
George Anderson – Moderator