The vital role of Customer Engagement in food retail

From a singular to an integrated channel approach: How supermarkets are changing the game in customer engagement.
Leading the Market
There is no doubt that the supermarket retail industry is a highly competitive one, with many retailers struggling to keep pace with the ever-changing expectations and priorities of customers. For one thing, a consumer's choice of store is heavily driven by convenience, speed, price and product selection. Brand loyalty also plays a key factor, which can be a major challenge in countries with a high proliferation of supermarkets, like the Netherlands, for example. We are also confronted with newer realities as the financial implications of the ongoing recession begin to hit. Understanding ‘customers’ mindsets’ has never been more critical to help supermarket retailers plan for an uncertain future and set themselves apart.
Top supermarket brands like Spar, Jumbo, Colruyt, Hoogvliet, and Plus Supermarkten understand the necessity of providing a contextualized digital experience for their customers. And that’s why they chose Notificare. They were seeking a data-driven, multi-faceted and personalized approach to interacting with their customers. By employing a curated blend of channels, they have been able to successfully optimize their customer engagement strategies, interact with customers at multiple touchpoints and transform shopping experiences.

Opportunities and Challenges

Since the start of the pandemic, online shopping has been on the rise, and supermarkets have been faced with the challenge of delivering a seamless online shopping experience to ensure their customers remain loyal. Specific challenges that arise include the implementation of an efficient onboarding process, managing automated workflows such as order delivery service, abandoned carts, order updates, out-of-stock products, etc., and delivering loyalty programs in a relevant way.

There is also the increasing issue of shifting customer behavior, particularly with the younger generation, who are more likely to switch brands based on the plethora of information available to them. They are strong in their demand for high-quality, speedy, and seamless shopping experiences.

How can supermarket brands overcome these challenges and capitalize on the opportunities available? What is required is a deeper understanding of customer behavior, a detailed response strategy and utilizing the relevant channels of communication.

Let’s delve a bit further into how some of our supermarket brands have tackled these issues using the Notificare products.

The Solution

Through each stage of the customer lifecycle journey, we see the strategies that have been put in place by some of our clients to ensure a continuous thread of engagement and optimization of customer experience. Whether it’s by push notification, in-app messaging, mobile wallet, email, or SMS, they ensure that the right content is delivered to the customer at the relevant time.


Onboarding is the make-or-break step in the customer journey and it is important that it is done right. By making use of our automation capabilities, our clients have been able to successfully activate customers to increase their app usage after first engagement and steer them in the right direction. This could be by providing information about the benefits of the app, incentives to new users to make their first purchase, or informing them about particular features of the app. Some excellent use cases include using push notifications to remind new users that have opted in, on how to use the shopping list. Other brands also use push notifications to offer free delivery to new customers that have not yet placed an order.


Three keywords to highlight here are personalization, engagement, and relevance. One of the ways that our top supermarket clients have been able to deliver highly engaging messages is by using the insights gained from customer behavior to deliver curated content specific to customer preferences via push notifications or in-app messages. For example, by informing customers of reductions to their favorite products or when they are out of stock or back in stock. With this data-driven strategy, our clients have been able to get concrete insights into customer preferences and push the right content. It is important to note that these insights are useful to our clients and the brands they work with to help them tailor their products to customer needs and preferences and stay on top of trends. By this simple method, we have seen a boost in monthly active users and retention rates.

Another excellent demonstration of using data to optimize customer experience is by offering flexibility in the post-order process. Some of our supermarket brands use Notificare’s automation feature to send push notifications to customers after a purchase, offering the possibility to update or make changes to their orders within a certain time frame.

Similarly, by leveraging data to celebrate customers on special occasions, our clients have been able to increase customer engagement. One of the common ways is by sending personalized birthday messages, especially combined with a gift voucher or discount code. The Notificare platform offers an easy way to implement this by automating it as a scheduled task.

Other methods that our clients have used to increase user engagement is in the management of their order notification process. By combining our push and email channels, they are assured of a more effective reach.

And let’s not forget about our powerful contextual content feature that gives brands more flexibility in providing relevant content to their customers and determining when and how it is displayed. Our clients use this in a myriad of ways, but typical use cases include the onboarding of new users, special announcements such as the recall of products or seasonal campaign messages.
Great tool to send push messages
Once you know the tool, it's very handy to send push notifications and design them as wished. The tool also offers a lot of possibilities to target your messages.
Lies C.

Win back

We have also seen great success in how our clients keep track of lapsed customers and maintain high retention rates, for example, by sending out reactivation campaigns to customers that have yet to order within a specific period of time. Other methods include tracking the last active date of users, or other custom events to determine at what stage to reach out to customers and reel them back in.


Driving relevant-based loyalty programs has never been easier with Notificare. Not only is it a good way to reward customers with member points and discounts, but it can also be used in a variety of ways for automatic updates and relevance notifications. In a specific client use case, they found this to be a perfect solution to manage their order pick-up process. Customers are prompted anytime they are within the proximity of a pick-up location to scan their pass and pick up their groceries.

The Results

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Over the past year, the Notificare platform has enabled our supermarket brands to optimize their customer journeys and support their marketing strategies. We have seen an increase in conversion across board, in terms of monthly activity rates, open rates, retention rates and opt-ins. Moreover, our clients have gained deeper insights into their customer habits and preferences, allowing them to tailor communication to the right groups.
Ready to get started?
If you are in the supermarket retail industry
and looking to achieve similar results in your marketing campaigns,
we would love to hear from you.

Get in touch with our sales team for a free demo.
Get a free demo