As state economies open back up, it’s not just restaurants that are likely to see their businesses change. Grocery retailers, too, will see a change in how customers engage with their locations. Relaxed guidelines and lifted stay-at-home orders may lead to an increase in visit frequency, and a return of the hot bar—many of which shut down during the pandemic for safety reasons—could cause an uptick in shoppers stopping in for a quick meal on the way home, for instance. Grocerants, or restaurants within grocery stores, will also be able to open back up, so stores can plan for welcoming diners back there, too.
One thing retailers may be concerned about as restaurants open back up, however, is keeping shoppers engaged and coming back again and again. There are three ways that retailers can do this—all with the help of television entertainment.
1) Entertaining while waiting at the checkout
With social distancing making lines stretch farther back, adding televisions at the checkout lanes or even at the end of grocery aisles is one way retailers can make a busy grocery shopping trip a little more enjoyable. Popular programming, current events and other local highlights can make for perfect checkout line fodder, as well as provide entertainment in other parts of the store. In fact, 38% of consumers say they visit grocery stores at least once month specifically to view a TV program, according to a December 2019 survey by Technomic in partnership with DIRECTV for BUSINESS. These televisions can also be used to promote any sales or special events going on in the store. By giving consumers something to engage with while they’re waiting in line, retailers can help mitigate frustration that may occur due to longer lines and wait times.
2) Educating consumers through food programming
Since restaurant closures led to more consumers cooking at home, retailers now have the perfect opportunity to keep that momentum going. Televisions installed in various departments, such as the produce, seafood, dairy and other areas, can be used to showcase food programming that can educate shoppers on food trends and ingredients and show how to prepare new and exciting dishes. Similarly to televisions at the checkout area, too, televisions in areas such as the deli can be used to keep consumers entertained while they wait—and who wouldn’t appreciate a TV when they stop by the deli on a busy Sunday afternoon? Nearly 20% of consumers say they expect grocery stores to offer televisions, according to Technomic research done in partnership with DIRECTV for BUSINESS. Retailers can set up a schedule of programming for shoppers to check out and can send out notifications to customers to entice them to visit. For instance, retailers can let customers know that there’ll be “weekend cooking programming” on Fridays and Saturdays, info about quick and easy weeknight meals on Sundays and more. Using televisions to educate consumers can lead to an increase in basket size and can spur incremental purchases of items that may not have been on shoppers’ lists.
3) Engagement at the grocerant
Finally, adding entertainment at the grocerant is a great way to keep grocery consumers interested in the store. Whether they’re stopping in for their weekly shop and picking up a meal to-go or dropping by on their lunch break for a dine-in meal, many customers would enjoy being able to catch a few minutes of a favorite show or some breaking news headlines while they wait. According to Technomic’s survey for DIRECTV for BUSINESS, one of the top reasons consumers watch TV at a grocery store is that it gives them something to do while they’re eating or shopping. Grocerants, like restaurants, will be working hard to boost traffic in a post-pandemic landscape, and by broadcasting popular programming, grocery retailers can snag their piece of the pie for in-store restaurants. Retailers can even sign up for DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket program, which would enable them to showcase popular sports games to customers. That could even encourage additional game-day purchases of items such as chips and salsa, wings, pizza, beer and more.
Television can play an important role in keeping consumers engaged with the grocery store even as restaurants open back up
This post is sponsored by DIRECTV for BUSINESS