As consumers’ inflationary concerns affect their spending choices, grocers are rolling out offers aimed at allaying those anxieties in a bid to deepen customer relationships and increase frequency.
Kroger, for its part, is using concerns about rising gas prices to encourage adoption of its new membership program. The Kroger Co. announced Wednesday, July 13, that it is launching its nationwide Boost program, which, for a fixed monthly or annual fee, offers free shipping, fuel discounts and exclusive offers on products from grocer’s house brand.
“As customers continue to evolve the way they shop and eat, this expansion of our loyalty program provides more personalized value in groceries and fuel, as well as easier access to convenient shopping solutions, such as delivery,” said Yael Cosset, senior vice president and head of Kroger. information officer, in a press release. “We are committed to consistently delivering a smooth, top-notch experience without compromise…”
Cosset added that the brand recognizes that this is “particularly important” for customers in the face of “an inflationary environment and rising fuel prices”.
The consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U), released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Wednesday, found that food prices rose 10.4% year-over-year in June and food-to-home (i.e. groceries) prices rose. 12.2%. Meanwhile, gasoline prices soared 59.9%.
Kroger’s announcement comes as no surprise. In mid-June, Rodney McMullen, the company’s CEO and president, told analysts on a call discussing the grocer’s first quarter 2022 results that Kroger would roll out the program nationwide “in the coming weeks” after being “encouraged” by the results in the four pilot markets.
Read more: Grocery shoppers engage more with brands that offer fuel rewards
In the grocery industry, major players are leveraging membership models to build loyalty, delivering savings to their cost-conscious customers. Amazon Prime membership provides access to Amazon Fresh and exclusive benefits at Whole Foods Market stores. Walmart+ offers free grocery delivery. Albertsons Companies offers a FreshPass subscription with free shipping, gas savings, and other perks and perks.
Membership programs can certainly boost spending. PYMNTS’ April study, “The Benefits of Membership,” which draws on a survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers, found that 60% of Walmart+ subscribers made a Walmart purchase at during the previous month, while only 16% of non-members had done the same. Similarly, 61% of Amazon Prime members had made a purchase on Amazon during that time, while only 10% of non-members had done so.
Price is a priority for member and subscriber grocers. According to data from the May edition of PYMNTS’ “Subscription Commerce Conversion Index,” created in conjunction with subscription-based e-commerce platform sticky.io, 71% of consumers noticed inflation had an impact on their grocery costs. As a result, 56% of consumers said they would be interested in a grocery subscription if product prices were lower.
See more : Inflation multiplies by 10 the number of consumers reassessing the value of the subscription