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How Did Jewel-Osco, A Chicago-Based Supermarket Chain Offered Hyper-Personalized Deals?

Jewel-Osco is a supermarket chain in Chicago Illinois with over 187 stores across Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. The company started as a door-to-door coffee delivery service before it expanded into delivering non-perishable groceries and later opened its own supermarkets.

The supermarket chain recently launched a new customer loyalty program, "just for u". It might sound cliché, but this loyalty program is like no other. In addition to offering digital coupons, discounts, the mobile app offers hyper-personalized deals to individual customers.

It’s not just hyper-personalization. Jewel-Osco uses Account-Based Marketing (ABM) with the help of Microsoft's Artificial Intelligence (AI) to offer personalized offers, promotions, discounts and prices to individual customers.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-Based Marketing is a strategic approach to marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.

Account-Based Marketing is typically employed in enterprise level sales organizations, but with the adoption of AI technologies, traditional industries such as groceries can achieve such high levels of personalization.

“Human-in-the-loop involvement in all decision making is rapidly becoming impractical.” - Cristina San José and Dorian Pyle, McKinsey

Hyper-Personalized: Millions Of Data Points

Retailers want to personalize their customer journeys and react to customer behaviors in real-time. Hyper-Personalization is a way to understand if the customer will make a new purchase, or how the retailer can reduce churn rates.

Traditional marketing campaigns rely on customer demographics and geography to target customers, whereas Hyper-Personalization considers all customer touch-points, including browsing behavior, life stage and personal preferences to send personalized messages.

Retailers collect as many data points as possible; customer's behavior on their website, mobile app, reaction to promotions and coupons and abandoned carts. These data points will help retailers answer important questions such as "If I change the price for this customer, will he/she buy the product?" and "When prices go up, will he/she stay loyal?".

How Does Jewel-Osco Collect Customer Data?

Customers provide their mobile number when they sign-up for a "just for u" account. During each purchase, customers enter their mobile number to apply discounts and redeem coupons. Jewel-Osco then stores the data collected under each customer's digital profile.

Customers are able to create grocery lists and this provides Jewel-Osco with their buying intent. During each shopping trip, the mobile app displays hyper-personalized deals and prices to the individual, further encouraging a purchase behavior.

How Does Jewel-Osco Offer Hyper-Personalized Deals?

Machine Learning-Based Algorithms (or decision trees) will calculate the probability whether a customer will make a purchase at the suggested price or not. If this probability exceeds 50% the algorithm will show the personalized offer.

For example, customers who are price sensitive and have a purchase history for orange juice will see a deal like "Simply Orange Juice (52 Fl. Oz.) - Your Price $2.88 (U.P. $3.99)".

The Future Of Retail: AI & Machine Learning

The future of retail will not be to compete for customers' wallet-share with price wars, but many smart battles driven by data to deliver a personal customer experience.

Retailers will need to create digital customer profiles and offer customers hyper-personalized deals and pricing to sell more effectively and forecast future sales.

With the help of AI and Machine Learning, Account-Based Marketing will provide customers with a feeling of personal communication and build brand loyalty.

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