Punchh Brings Loyalty Innovation To This Year’s NGA Show

By: Brittany Maroney


With Punchh prominently featured at this year’s conference, grocers across the nation got the inside scoop on loyalty program innovations and the future of personalization at scale.

Broader shifts towards digital commerce have changed the way consumers choose to shop, including within the aisles of grocery stores. There now exists a deep digital divide between the grocery markets that thrive and those that die, as shoppers continue to migrate to new channels to acquire and even pay for their groceries. The future of the supermarket is in a retailer’s ability to craft a digital strategy that truly customizes the shopping experience to the customer’s needs, when, and where they shop. 

The future is loyalty. 

This year marked Punchh’s inaugural appearance at the National Grocers Association Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. On March 1st, Punchh’s Vice President of Strategy Sastry Penumarthy took the stage under the packed roof of the Technology Thought Leadership Theater to expound on the new digital landscape and the benefits of a loyalty strategy. 

The 30-minute presentation elaborated on the complexities of the loyalty evolution within the grocery sector, as well as the transformation of the industry by increasing calls by consumers to create a seamless and personalized shopping experience that expands outside of the brick and mortar into digital channels. 

By taking an omnichannel approach, grocers can strive to unify their tech stack, craft more strategic rewards programs and sync their marketing strategy in-store and online to optimize efficiency. Here are a few of the innovations, the Punchh team is seeing in grocery and what it means for the supermarket sector:

Differentiate in a Changing Landscape

Grocers should be thinking about personalization and convenience to differentiate themselves from the stiff competition they face, not only in the grocery vertical, but also as c-stores and restaurants pursue innovations. This means collecting transactional data from the consumer, across all channels and purchase points. This information can now be used to analyze, assess and deliver the right offers, at the right time, across the devices that they want to use. By targeting this consumer in a 1:1 fashion, grocers can ultimately engage, attract and retain consumers in a way that provides value to the shopper. Consumers can then be provided with promotions and incentives relevant to them and avoid the headache of wading through mass communications that traditionally live in the grocery space. The “big bag of one-size-fits-all” model of points based on a shopping cart or traditional print ads no longer works for today’s consumers, as they expect their favorite brands to better understand their needs and provide “smarter” offers over time. 

Multichannel vs. Omnichannel Approaches

Many grocery brands have innovated and have introduced new channels to enhance the customer experience. Where they have failed is by truly connecting the dots between these platforms to allow for a seamless and integrated shopping experience. Silos across the grocery tech-stack continues to be a persistent problem, and providing consumers with the same great shopping experience, whether online, in-app, or in the store, remains challenging. Even more concerning is the gaps in connecting data points across these channels to create that full picture of each consumer, their needs, and purchasing habits. As the grocery industry continues to navigate these issues, they will need to continue to bring on new channels that allow them to cater to guests across the spectrum. This will entail the right system that collects, aggregates, and integrates into all of these technology innovations, making silos a thing of the past. 

Loyalty May Be The Solution

As times have changed, one thing remains clear. Customer loyalty remains the holy grail for businesses, including within the grocery space. After all, a loyal customer can be very lucrative, but continuously maintaining, supporting, driving, and rewarding that loyalty is not easy and without the right solutions partner, it will never be scalable. Within the grocery industry, many brands have found a simple solution. True omnichannel digital loyalty that seamlessly integrates into their existing infrastructure makes it possible for grocers to give customers a reason to choose them over one of their competitors, not just once but repeatedly.

A customer loyalty program is the key to holistic consumer engagement that builds a brand across every customer touchpoint and channel and every in-store and online experience. Embracing loyalty in this manner acknowledges the critical exchange of values between the customer: who receives personalized offers and experiences, and the brand: who in return gets detailed knowledge of their customers. By driving these experiences, organizations allow for the ability to drive superior data-driven segmentation and targeting, creating 1:1 connections that will sustain and grow their grocery business into the future. 

The Next Steps

Your grocery concept is at an exciting crossroads if you and your team are considering how to enhance your customer engagement and loyalty strategy with the right tools and the right partners, providers, or platforms. The right loyalty partner, like Punchh, will help you assess and execute appropriately on the details of your program mechanics, the necessary integrations with your techstack and help build your customer experience extensions, like within your mobile app. 

Think the Punchh solution may be right for you? Contact us to set up a personalized demo of our loyalty, offers, and engagement platform. 

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