Omnichannel Shopper Engagement Essential for Success of RD Programs and Services

Omnichannel Shopper Engagement Essential for Success of RD Programs and Services

February 20, 2019
Annette Maggi
Retail Industry InsightsBusiness Skills

By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

The continued hype surrounding online shopping has put pressure on traditional grocers to expand their shopper offerings, with options like click-and-collect on the rise. But the broader way to compete with online giants like Amazon is to ensure true omnichannel shopper engagement.

The goal of omnichannel engagement is to provide a seamless shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores in part by leveraging digital and social channels outside of the store environment. The question for retail RDs is how well you are activating against the omnichannel experience, leveraging all assets available within your retail company, to promote and drive usage of your programs and services.  

In a study (attach link: of 46,000 grocery customers in 2015-16, Harvard Business School found that a leading retailer’s omnichannel shoppers spent an average of 4% more on every shopping trip. With each additional digital or in-store tool used, the shopper spent more money in the store, and those customers who used four or more channels to engage with the retailer spent on average 9% more in the store.  Even more interesting is the fact that if retail engagement included pre-trip online research on the retailer’s website, omnichannel shoppers spent 13% more in the store. The study also found that omnichannel shoppers have bigger basket sizes, are more loyal, had more frequent shopping trips, and were more likely to recommend a retailer to friends and family.

The learning for retail RDs is that it’s essential to create omnichannel shopper engagement related to healthy living programs and services. Options include promotion of healthy living programs and services in the online shopping environment, digital coupons for “RD Pick” products, social campaigns for in-store promotions, shelf-edge communication, and visibility of RDs on corporate websites.  To maximize its impact and ROI, health and wellbeing should be integrated into every touchpoint the retailer has with the consumer.  Retail RDs can map a strategy for omnichannel shopper engagement on health and sell it in to relevant departments.