Meijer gives curbside pickup customers an early Christmas gift

Discussion
Source: “Meijer Pickup Thanksgiving Surprise” promotional video
Dec 04, 2020
Matthew Stern

More than 200 random customers visiting Meijer to pick up their groceries during the weekend before Thanksgiving got a big holiday surprise — the groceries were on the grocer.

When the lucky customers arrived at one of 234 participating Meijer locations for pickup, they were greeted by a staff member who told them the groceries they were picking up would be free, according to a report on MLive. Those customers were also given a $50 gift card for their next trip to Meijer.  At some Meijer stores, staff greeted pickup customers in costume, played holiday music and even presented bouquets of flowers. With the promotion, Meijer intended to demonstrate appreciation for those customers who trusted the grocer to do their shopping for them during the tough circumstances of the pandemic.

Like many major grocery chains, Meijer was already implementing curbside pickup and other services in the years leading up to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic drastically increased customer adoption of these services across the board.

In October, in response to increased demand for its curbside pickup and delivery services, Meijer removed the $4.95 per-order fee from grocery orders of more than $50, according to the Detroit Free Press. Orders from Meijer made through Shipt still carry a $9.95 per-order fee. The grocer has also begun making in-store sales and weekly promotions available to online customers.

In addition to a greater focus on curbside fulfillment, Meijer has taken numerous other steps to try to promote enhanced customer safety since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic. For instance in April, after public health professionals began recognizing crowded grocery stores as a potentially dangerous source of viral transmission, Meijer temporarily suspended its weekly ad campaigns in order to reduce in-store store traffic.

Toward the end of November, ABC12 News reported, Meijer teamed with a few state agencies to put out a message advising against panic buying in efforts to protect the supply chain as COVID-19 cases began to once again surge throughout the U.S. As a part of this messaging, Michigan Retailers Association CEO William Hallan pointed to stores offering curbside pickup and delivery as safer ways to shop for groceries during the holidays.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are promotions like Meijer’s a good idea for grocers looking to highlight pickup services and show customers they care during the pandemic? What other sorts of promotions might retailers leverage as a foundation for building customer loyalty at this time?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Creative minds who are not afraid to promote in unique and crowd-pleasing ways own the day."
"The part that stands out the most to me from a potential to grow loyalty (beyond just the lucky few who won) is how the “reveal moment” is executed."
"Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement! This was a great pay-it-forward move by Meijer."

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12 Comments on "Meijer gives curbside pickup customers an early Christmas gift"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

I put this in the category of “random acts of kindness.” It is a nice gesture that will create a lot of good will among those shoppers who received free products. It will also generate some solid social media interaction.

Another good promotion I recently saw from a U.K. grocer was a basket of festive treats sent to some of their top customers. Included was a note with little facts about the person’s shopping habits in 2020 – such as they were the top buyer of a certain product or how many different items they’d bought in the year. It was presented in a way that was fun and interesting rather than being intrusive.

Suresh Chaganti
BrainTrust

I have been shopping at Meijer at least once a week, for a long time. It is an easy decision to go back again and again. The prices are the same as Walmart next door, but the store is much better organized and cleaner. Meijer’s private label brand is high quality. The Mperks program is as simple as it gets – 2 percent cash back. They send personalized coupons regularly with exactly the products I purchase. Not a rocket science-level of personalization – but simple and super effective.

The recent gimmicks are alright. But I don’t think Meijer needs them. They do basics so well.

Jeff Weidauer
BrainTrust

Random grocery giveaways are nothing new, but kudos to Meijer for using the idea to drive awareness of their pickup service. Delivery remains a profitability challenge for grocers, and promoting pickup services in a way that will get attention is a smart move.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

What a smart idea. With minimal cash outlay, Meijer gets a ton of free publicity, grateful customers, and a feeling of good will. I like it.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

Like Neil says, nice gesture but not much of a promotion – it’s not going to do much to increase sales. If you don’t know about it, you can’t respond to it.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

Are promotions like Meijer’s a good idea for grocers looking to highlight pickup services and show customers they care during the pandemic?
YES! Creative minds who are not afraid to promote in unique and crowd-pleasing ways own the day. Even if customers did not get selected, they’ll be back — “you never know.” I suppose that is why people line up to purchase lottery tickets. Brilliant move from Meijer. Yes, someone will copy this type of promotion.

Raj B. Shroff
BrainTrust

I agree with fellow panelists, I wouldn’t call this a promotion but an act of good will which happens to generate publicity. It’s a great idea. I am a frequent shopper of Meijer and think they do so many things well, except checkout.

I don’t think promotions build loyalty, they build transactions. Loyalty is built by having convenient locations, parking availability, clean stores, quality assortment, appropriate pricing, etc.

This is a heartfelt gesture from a thoughtful, privately-owned company living its values.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

Neil has made a good point. But Meijer is smart, just like Publishers Clearing House awarding their winner thousands of dollars — and they promote it so everyone sees what they did. I believe Meijer is focused enough (and savvy enough) to promote this event, and to take full advantage of it. I’ll look for pictures of happy winners in their stores.

Evan Snively
BrainTrust
Meijer doesn’t serve my market, but I hear great things. The part that stands out the most to me from a potential to grow loyalty (beyond just the lucky few who won) is how the “reveal moment” is executed. And Meijer, at least in some cases, seems to understand that. “At some Meijer stores, staff greeted pickup customers in costume, played holiday music and even presented bouquets of flowers” This is important for two reasons: It creates a more viral and memorable experience to share – from passersby to news outlets to the participants themselves. Everyone is more likely to share and, more importantly, recall long-term the story if there is interesting imagery around it. Sharing a photo to friends of a worker in a banana suit with flowers is a lot better than just sharing a prose story. It develops the relationship both between employees and customers as well as strengthens customers’ pride in being associated with Meijer – in short, it creates community. Community is a backbone of sustainable loyalty, and regional grocery… Read more »
Brian Cluster
BrainTrust

Yes, This is absolutely a great campaign for Meijer. It highlights the pickup service that they offer and the personalized touch that the e-commerce pureplay retailers can’t emulate. While curbside may be a commonly offered service now, many consumers are still getting home delivery or buying in-store and have not used curbside. This promotion brings awareness to the service and further cements Meijer in the mind of consumers as a pickup option for the remainder of the holiday season.

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement! This was a great pay-it-forward move by Meijer. They will win customers loyalty forever with this move. They understand the lifetime value (LTV) and recency, frequency and monetary value (RFM) of a customer. The 80 percent/20 percent rule is a retail reality where 20 percent of customers account for 80 percent of the sales and this 20 percent is fluid with customers entering and exiting the segment because of good or bad customer moments. This is a great customer moment to build LTV and RFM.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

What Meijer did with this promotion was not only promoting goodwill, but deepening the emotional connection with their customers. That’s priceless — what a brilliant idea! While Meijer might not need to do this given their loyal customer following, it’s precisely that reason that makes this act that much more special in the eyes of their customers and people in the community around each store that no doubt heard about this from their friends who shop there. This is how brands establish trust and loyalty in a lasting manner.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Creative minds who are not afraid to promote in unique and crowd-pleasing ways own the day."
"The part that stands out the most to me from a potential to grow loyalty (beyond just the lucky few who won) is how the “reveal moment” is executed."
"Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement! This was a great pay-it-forward move by Meijer."

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