Marc’s sends recipes via beacons

Source: Allrecipes
Jun 30, 2016
Laura Heller

Through a special arrangement, what follows is an excerpt of an article from FierceRetail, an e-newsletter and website covering the latest retail technology news and analysis.

Allrecipe and Marc’s stores are partnering to provide beacon-triggered meal ideas, recipes and product suggestions to shoppers via a mobile app. Early results from the launch are making a strong use case for beacons that goes beyond delivering a coupon at the shelf.

Here’s how it works: Shoppers with the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app will trigger the beacons installed in all 58 Marc’s locations in Ohio. Hyperlocal meal recommendations will be pushed to the user along with recipes featuring products on sale at that particular Marc’s store. Seasons and local weather will help inform the suggestions.

The program is designed to address shoppers’ immediate need of what to make for dinner that night, and provide relevant, money-saving deals.

Shoppers view 35 million recipes monthly from their phones while they are in store making grocery purchase decisions, according to the company. Close to 66 percent of the website’s traffic comes from mobile devices, and the app has been downloaded by 23 million users.

A soft launch in May delivered a 50 percent increase in app usage in the designated Marc’s stores areas.

“We understand the importance of using technology to craft in-store engagements that are personal to shoppers, stores and brands, and this partnership serves as a first step in providing timely, relevant meal solutions for busy home cooks as soon as they walk through the door,” said Stan Pavlovsky, Allrecipes president.

The initiative is also a rare example of beacons being deployed for more than pushing sale and product information. Beacons have been a hot topic in retail for the past two years and, while many retailers are testing the technology, most programs remain in the test phase. Attendees and panelists at Shoptalk in May in Las Vegas called beacons a solution without a problem.

Unless that problem is what to make for dinner.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is sending recipes a better way to capitalize on beacons rather than making coupon offers? What else could be mobile-delivered to customers in stores to enhance the shoppers’ experience?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
"I still feel that constantly pushing messages at consumers is not a recipe for success."
"I believe this might result in higher trial and, more importantly, sustained use."
"We in retail are all too quick to be thinking sell, sell, sell; however, if we focus on serving the customer first, they just might buy."

Join the Discussion!

9 Comments on "Marc’s sends recipes via beacons"

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Steve Montgomery

Using beacons in this manner provides the customers something beyond a “buy this” message. I believe this might result in higher trial and, more importantly, sustained use. However, as with anything of this nature the retailers must be careful not to overload the customer with messages.

Max Goldberg

Anything other than direct sales pitches is better for beacons, but I still feel that constantly pushing messages at consumers is not a recipe for success. How many push messages is a consumer going to accept before she gets annoyed by the technology? Brands and retailers need to engage consumers in discussions that make their lives better, and they need to do this on the consumers’ schedule, not by pushing messages at them every time they walk past a beacon.

Lee Kent

I have been working with a client who offers beacon solutions. What we are seeing is that the most effective solutions offer some type of service to the customer. That would definitely be the case here too.

We in retail are all too quick to be thinking sell, sell, sell however if we focus on serving the customer first, they just might buy. And even come back!

For my 2 cents.

Chris Petersen, PhD.

The small screen is definitely the new and most often used consumer portal. Recent research indicated that high volume smartphone users touch their phones 2600 times per day!

The question is whether information pushes and offers are now getting lost in all that traffic.

Out of the millions of apps available, customers only routinely use five to seven on a weekly basis. Beacons could be highly effective for those customers that have the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app as one of their top seven apps. For the rest of us, not so much.

Beacons delivering recipes are still “solutions without a problem” if the consumer is not actively engaged and sees value in the app on an ongoing basis.

Kim Garretson
2 years 7 months ago

As I mentioned in another comment recently, good for Meredith Corp (parent of AllRecipes) for an innovation like this. The company has the largest database of household spending behaviors in the media industry, and with pressures on traditional advertising revenue from magazines and websites, the company has started to move into shopper marketing to begin to capture trade dollars from CPG brands that traditionally have gone mainly to retailers only. But with Meredith adding additional utility and service to shoppers with recipes and sales alerts at an SKU level, I think all parties are winning here — brands, retailers and shoppers.

Al McClain

I really like the idea of pushing a recipe made from items on sale. The shopper gets a fresh meal idea AND the items are discounted. What’s better than that? I do think retailers have to be careful with messages they push and how they connect the dots, though. I was recently in a Verizon corporate store being told “no, no, and no” by a store manager with regards to helping with an issue I was having. The store and the manager got very low marks on the survey in real time, while I was actually trying to talk with him. Out the door I went to Costco, who solved the problem, and gave me a few perks. Verizon never followed up on the survey or the issue, of course, demonstrating the great service at Costco, the negative results of the cell phone oligopoly, and the need to pay attention to responses when you send customers mobile messages.

Gajendra Ratnavel

Coupons were an easy and obvious application for beacons and now that beacons have been in the market for some time, technology companies are looking for ways to leverage this technology for other uses. Delivering recipes to me is not that different from a coupon. Beacons can be used as part of a larger engagement platform combining with digital signage, interactive kiosks, mobile applications and social media to create a more powerful and fun gamified environment. Retail unfortunately is not the industry that jumps on the early adopter bandwagon even though beaconing is one of those technology that is most useful in retail.

David Slavick

I created my profile with — they did not ask what my communication or channel preferences were. Did they ask how often I want to be communicated with? No. Did they ask if I preferred email vs. mobile channel? No.

The key is offer real time and engage with the opted-in consumer to the mobile app based on their preferences. You are invited to communicate. Respect it. Ideas on how to take advantage and do more/better? Promotions vs. coupons. Use of the app gives us unique access to 1:1 dialogue or private chat with your favorite chef. Opportunities to travel and learn new ways to cook healthy, bbq, bake, etc. from partners/experts. Pushing coupons to pull product off the shelf is a “hit and miss” proposition.

Shekar Raman
2 years 7 months ago

This is definitely an interesting application of beacon messaging. The focus on a larger scale should be on improving the experience for the shopper, not just increasing sales.

Today’s shopper is an experiential shopper. Thrilled shoppers leads to happy shoppers which leads to increase loyalty and sales. Discounts and promotions are just one of the ways of getting shoppers to buy. How about in-store kiosks that are beacon enabled so shoppers automatically are signed in when they tap the screen? Or being able to discover what’s new in the aisle or department you are in? Or a coupon reminder triggered when you are close to a product that you clipped a coupon for?

Ultimately though, the combination of context and personalization is what should dictate the use cases.

"I still feel that constantly pushing messages at consumers is not a recipe for success."
"I believe this might result in higher trial and, more importantly, sustained use."
"We in retail are all too quick to be thinking sell, sell, sell; however, if we focus on serving the customer first, they just might buy."

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