Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 49 of 217

CEO. "We aim to give retailers a tool that captures customers' attention and engages them within the store." 3. Virtual Holographic Greeters Holograms have been on the radar for years and finally are making an appearance at retail. One Walmart in Florida already introduced a virtual woman telling customers why they should get an eye exam in the store's vision-care department. The potential for marketing food and offering information without on-site manpower is encouraging, and the units can show QR codes for discounts and share links to recipes. How it works: Using 360-degree HD image technology, the hologram stands 5 feet 6 inches tall on a powder-coated metal stand that has a 15-inch by 40-inch footprint and is programmed to market a specific product or share a specific message. The units can be leased or purchased. Dale Gillis, co-owner of Marketing Ad Group, Mooresville, N.C., began promoting the product last summer and has leased about 150 units used for both product specific demonstrations and as greeters or spokespeople. "The Hologram Greeter can easily feature any food item by simply holding the item or packaging, or it can incorporate and interact with existing ads for the featured brand on the screen-inscreen feature," Gillis explains. An added benefit is that the units can Gourmet App's push notifcations promote a specifc item, particularly limited-edition products, which then draw the customer further into the store. PHOTO: MARKETING AD GROUP How it works: The app (customized for each specific store) offers a variety of features, such as a deli-ordering function, which allows customers to place an order and then receive a message stating when their food will be ready for pickup. The coupon or weekly specials delivery allows consumers to add specials directly to their shopping list. Recipes are another draw. "Last year, the number of shoppers who viewed recipes from their mobile phones increased by 103 percent," Davis says. "With our recipes, shoppers can easily plan their weekly meal menus from the palm of their hand. They can search and view hundreds of thousands of recipe ideas and add ingredients straight to their shopping lists. Providing customers with recipe access helps encourage the purchase of new products and increases revenue." The analytics that Gourmet App provides allow retailers to track which items consumers add to their list. Push notifications are another feature. "It's a great tool to promote a specific item, particularly limited-edition products, which then draw the customer further into the store," Davis notes. Apps that are pushenabled (allowing notification messages to the user), she adds, have twice the retention rate and four times the engagement rate than those that aren't. To get consumers actively using the technology, Gourmet Apps runs a marketing campaign, creates in-store signage to promote the app and offers an introduction video explaining the app that can be used on social media or run on in-store flatscreen televisions. deliver scent, creating "a total immersion experience," Gillis says. The scent function could encourage hunger by spreading the smell of a specific food cooking. Critics bemoan the loss of human interaction, and some consumers may find a virtual greeter off-putting, but Gillis sees benefits to the consumer. "Shoppers appreciate the fact that they can choose whether they interact with the HG or not. It's not a person holding a clipboard or approaching them putting them in a potentially uncomfortable position," he explains. "The HG is intended to augment the shopping experience and provide ad-content delivery or other messaging in a consistent, repetitive manner that a person might not want to do 24 hours a day, seven days a week." JULY/AUGUST 2013 33

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