Merchandising The Digital World

Grocery Shopping Network (GSN) delivers remarkable results to Reading, Pennsylvania based Redner’s Markets in first year of digital shopper marketingprogram. Redner’s Markets owns and operates 42 Warehouse Markets and 17 Quick Shoppes in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

“Strengthening our digital marketing strategy has been a long-term goal for our organization and we are very happy with the results our partnership with GSN has provided,” said Ryan Redner, Chief Operating Officer of Redner’s Markets. “As our shoppers continue to migrate towards the digital world, we have expanded our digital offerings to provide greater value and better access to tools and resources that are helpful in planning a trip to one of our stores. Our overall goal is to provide our shoppers with the same great services and resources they have enjoyed in our stores for the past 42 years on their mobile device, home computer or preferred digital medium.”

GSN’s digital shopper marketing solutions enable retailers and brands to jointly optimize their digital shopper marketing efforts to benefit the shopper as well as each other. This combination of resources assists retailers and brands in driving web and in-store traffic while providing comprehensive ROI measurement by harnessing:

  •     Global Web Strategies.
  •     Retail Media.
  •     Data Driven Marketing Solutions.
  •     Targeted Brand Messages, Educational Content, Savings Offers.


“As the digital marketing landscape continues to evolve, shoppers have more choices than ever. Cutting through the clutter is a distinct challenge in this environment and data driven marketing solutions are enabling retailers to engage shoppers in a meaningful way that increases value for the shopper,” said Robert Krajeski, President of Grocery Shopping Network. “Our ROI based digital shopper marketing platform assists retailers in driving in-store and digital traffic while providing shoppers with a tool to manage and customize their shopping experience. This combination is unique to the industry and highly effective, as displayed in the great success of our partnership with Redner’s Markets.”


About the Grocery Shopping Network (GSN):
The Grocery Shopping Network, Inc. offers digital shopper planning and marketing tools for grocery retailers, Consumer Packaged Goods, and most importantly, shoppers. GSN’s goal is to provide a more valuable digital planning tool for grocery shoppers that will make their shopping experience (whether online or in-store) significantly better. The result of this improved shopper engagement is increased loyalty and revenue to their grocer, and more effective marketing vehicles for the Consumer Packaged Goods firms that partner with them. GSN’s expanding suite of shopper solutions includes integrated website, mobile, social and digital advertising software and programs designed to stand alone or enhance and extend existing efforts. For additional information about Grocery Shopping Network, please visit our website at

About Redner’s Markets, Inc.:
Redner’s Markets, Inc., an employee owned company, currently operates 42 Warehouse Markets and 17 Quick Shoppes throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Redner’s is committed to supporting the community in which each Warehouse Market and Quick Shoppe is located through a variety of supportive partnerships and enrichment programs. Redner’s continually strives to provide the lowest prices, freshest product and the outstanding service our customers have come to expect for 42 years. For additional information about Redner’s Markets, please visit their website at:


This past weekend I had the privilege of driving the new 2011 BMW 535i. It’s a really nice car, but beyond the nice handling and comfort of the car, one thing stood out to me. The technology in this car is just magnificent. One of the features that the car boast in it’s technology package is the ability to search for any item using the built-in Google search functionality on the Navigation unit. To be specific, you can search for a few million points of interest using the Google and BMW database. Here is a video demo of the product.

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social conversation from retail

Ok, so a while back I wrote an article on how social conversations are impacting search results on the two biggest search engines (Google and Bing). Well, I don’t think I gave that article enough justice. After all, social and search represent two of the three pillars in the digital ecosystem. The combination of them has consequences for anyone wanting to get awareness online (and awareness is what we all strive for as marketers, right?). Let’s break this down.

First, what the combination of social into search means on the surface is that people have more authority than brands. It used to be that brands could buy keywords and conduct spamy type activities to get their way to the top of the search results. While buying keywords is not going away anytime soon, the ability to load your site with useless content to generate higher ranking on the search engines has gone away as evident in the latest Google algorithm adjustment.

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Amazon Recommendations

I was just reading an article on HubSpot about the impact Amazon’s Facebook integration will have on eCommerce (link here). It’s a good article, simply because I think there is a lot of personalization and recommendations that Amazon can dig up through someone’s social preferences on Facebook. For example, Amazon can pull my friend’s birthday’s and then list out what music they might like based on what music was listed on their Facebook profile. It’s a pretty powerful way to give product recommendations.

While I think recommendation systems like this can work for the majority of shopping experiences, I think there are challenges with grocery shopping in particular. This is simply because there is a lack of grocery related preferences on Facebook. The current Facebook preferences a user has to enter on their profile are broken down by the following categories:

  • Education and Work
  • Religion & Political Views
  • Favorite Music, Books, Movies, TV Shows and Games
  • Favorite Teams and Athletes
  • Activities and Interest
  • Fan Pages

Notice the glaring omittance of Favorite Foods? As someone who works with grocery retailers to provide their shoppers more value, I’d personally like to see Facebook add a category that allows people to list their favorite foods. This would allow more grocery retailers to make stronger food related recommendations to consumers who are connecting via Facebook on their website. So Facebook, when are you going to allow your users to highlight their food preferences? Sure, there are Facebook fan pages, like Starbucks, Pancakes, Brownies, etc that allow you to do that, but when are users going to enter more preferences?

Grocers Using Vertis Inserts2online® Services Boost the Bottom Line by Transforming Printed Circulars into Powerful Interactive Online Content

BALTIMORE–Vertis Communications, a results driven marketing communications company that delivers inventive advertising, direct marketing and interactive solutions to prominent brands across North America, today announced a strategic partnership with Grocery Shopping Network (GSN) that will enhance the Inserts2online® (I2O) services Vertis provides to some of the most recognized grocers in the United States and Canada. Nearly 100 of North America’s top brands – including three of the top 5 food retailers – use Vertis’ I2O services to transform their traditional printed store circulars into interactive Web content that advances their marketing strategies and has measurable impact on the bottom line.

More than one third of U.S. households access advertising circulars via store websites, the majority of whom (65%) research weekly specials and discount coupons, according to Vertis Customer Focus® research. Vertis I2O for Grocers will enable grocery retailers to meet demand for online content while:

  • Generating revenue from GSN digital display ads placed on online circular pages;
  • Achieving greater return on their investment in printed circulars by converting advertising insert design to web content and adding functionality available only online;
  • Building customer awareness, program participation and website traffic through opt-in registration, RSS feeds, email features and social sharing;
  • Increasing store traffic by promoting weekly specials and unique offers;
  • Boosting sales through e-commerce integration;
  • Measuring impact with analysis of online activity and leveraging that intelligence to better target their customers’ viewing and buying preferences.

“Consumers buying everything from televisions to tortillas are researching purchases before they set foot in a store,” said Jerry Sokol, Interim President & Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Vertis Communications. “Grocers need to be online with savings opportunities and product information, as well as tools consumers can use to plan their trips to the store. Our new partnership with GSN will give grocers the power to connect with their customers while also generating revenue and driving sales. It’s a win-win all around.”

The partnership gives Vertis I2O for Grocers’ clients access to GSN’s display advertising network, which operates on more than 90 sites. As grocers build display ads into their online circular pages, they open new revenue streams and provide product-specific information to customers planning their grocery purchases. Grocers also have the ability to access data about consumer engagement with display ads, making future marketing efforts more targeted and relevant to customers.

“Like Vertis, GSN is extremely data-focused. We create the industry’s most precise data on shopping behavior to connect grocery consumers with the resources they need to optimize their shopping experience,” said Scott Lutz, CEO and president at Grocery Shopping Network. “We are committed to harnessing the power of digital communications to improve the shopper experience by conveniently saving time and money. The combination of Vertis’ I2O client sites and our display advertising network will ensure shoppers have the most relevant information while deciding what to buy.”

About Vertis Communications

Vertis Communications is a results-driven marketing communications company that delivers inventive advertising, direct marketing and interactive solutions to prominent brands across North America. Our deep industry knowledge and extensive range of offerings—including integrated data solutions, digital program management systems, creative services, world-class print and mail production, logistics, out-of-home and business process outsourcing—are used to deliver superior program performance that drives bottom line results for our clients. With 100 strategically positioned locations and more than 5,000 dedicated professionals, we deliver impeccable quality and fast turn-around to any market. For more information,


At GSN we analyze a ton of shopper data to make sense of what’s happening in the shopping world, which is why we call ourselves the experts in digital shopper behavior for the retail channel. We set out to do just that this past holiday season. Some questions that we had where: What are shopping trends in grocery right now? More specifically, was there anything interesting in the data?

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New Program Leverages Existing Technology to Tie Retailer’s Social Media Strategy to Brick & Mortar Floor Strategy

Minneapolis, MN — Grocery Shopping Network (GSN) is pleased to announce the launch of a new Quick Response (QR) Code program that offers retailers the ability to engage shoppers in a non-intrusive manner. Shoppers can now become a fan of their favorite grocer’s Facebook or Twitter profile instantly while in the store via signage embedded with QR Codes. This service is now available to retail grocers across the United States.

“QR Codes are part of our expanding mobile and social media strategy, we believe they will continue to play a larger role in our strategy as shoppers’ use of smartphone scanners continues to increase,” said Robert Krajeski, VP of Digital Marketing at Grocery Shopping Network. “The key is finding a valuable connection with the shopper while they are in-store. QR codes provide retailers an easy way to activate shoppers’ in-store and ultimately engage with them on a one-to-one level.”

Targeted towards maximizing shopper value in a digital format, GSN works with retailers to identify the best position for the in-store signage and then provides a printable pdf of the signage, complete with the embedded code, to the retailer. Retailers simply print and place the signage in the store.

“With this emerging technology, we’ve developed a simple method for retailers to enhance their social media presence while engaging shoppers in the store,” said Robert Mews, eMarketing Manager at Grocery Shopping Network. “This will extend the shopper relationship beyond the stores’ physical location while also being able to measure performance.”

Traditionally, this technology has assisted businesses in monitoring inventory, managing supply chains, and connecting print advertisements to online distributors. QR Codes are becoming a hot trend in many industries from advertising to marketing as recent reports highlight huge increases in mobile barcode scanning.

According to a recent report published by ScanLife, an estimated 30-40% of all smartphone users have downloaded a barcode scanning application. The report went further to say that in 2010, there was a 1600% increase in mobile barcode scanning and mobile bar code scanning doubled in the 4th quarter of 2010.

The study also highlighted a survey that found that 97% of respondents found mobile barcodes useful in some capacity while 3% found them not very useful. Additionally, the report indicated that the top uses of mobile bar code scanning are coupons, prices, and nutritional information.

Google and Bing announced this week that links shared on Facebook and Twitter will impact search results. This is big news for marketers who want their website to appear in the top of search results and attain visibility. Marketers will have to jump into social, but it also means they need to be smarter about how consumers are motivated to share content amongst friends.

Prior to the announcement, marketers would focus on optimizing the keywords within their website content in order to get a good listing on the search engines. Even the Google Social Search product that was in place prior to this week’s announcement really didn’t change that. By the way, Google’s Social Search product delivered search results that are influenced by your friends and social graph, based on the links they are sharing. It was an additional search listing seperate from your organic search result. For example, if you and another person are both searching for tailgating, and your friend liked a tailgating article from a website, well then that website would show up in my search result when I search for tailgating.

However, this announcement changes all of that. The two search engines will use what they call social author authority to influence organic search results. Presumably, if you are a highly influential Twitter user who shares a variety of tweets (which are then commented on, re-tweeted, and shared across your large network), you’ll have a good cache of authority and the links you share will enjoy a boost in SEO.

As always, we want to hear your thoughts.

Leading Provider of eCommerce Solutions for Grocery Industry Continues to Provide Successful Strategies for Clients

Grocery Shopping Network (“GSN”) is pleased to announce that coupon prints on grocer websites powered by their proprietary suite of online tools will have a projected increase of 60% over 2009. In 2009, yearly print totals rose an astounding 517% from 2008. The company set a new record for coupon prints in October 2010 and expects continued growth in this area.

“With the best months still ahead of us and with the addition of some new clients, our 2010 print goals are well within reach,” said Duane Kolsrud, Vice President of Client Performance at Grocery Shopping Network. “Our web coupons in conjunction with our proprietary suite of web-based tools engage our client’s shoppers, leading to increased sales and website traffic.”

Pop-up blocking software and spam blockers are creating a more competitive environment for advertisers by eliminating many advertisements before they reach their targets. Consumers are exposed to a constant bombardment of advertisements that are not relevant to their product search or personal needs; GSN has been able to sustain their growth in coupon prints by providing relevant content to users at the critical decision point in the pre-shopping planning process.

“Grocery Shopping Network is at the convergence point of consumer awareness and trade advertising,” said Andy Robinson CEO and Founder of GSN. “Our platform reduces the degrees of separation between initial consumer impressions and their decision to purchase a product.”

Grocery stores have traditionally implemented their advertising efforts through print, radio, and television media channels. The increased availability of online news sources in addition to the rising costs of print media has allowed the internet to quickly become the leading provider of information to the general public.

“In today’s changing world, progressive grocers are adapting their overall advertising strategy to include a diverse mixture of media including digital,” said Andy Robinson, CEO and Founder of GSN. “By captivating and engaging their shoppers through digital media, grocery retail operators are increasing the loyalty and performance of their best customers while attracting new customers to their retail brand.”

With triple digit growth in each of the past 3 years GSN’s Ad Network now represents over 7000 retail store locations, the growth of the Grocery Shopping Network is a result of experience, research, and strategic planning initiated and implemented by visionary leadership.

Grocery Shopping Network Reinforces Creative and Digital Marketing Teams to Answer Industry Needs

Grocery Shopping Network (“GSN (”) announced today the addition of Jennifer Flanagan and Robert Mews as eMarketing Managers to the firms Digital Marketing Team as well as the addition of Jon Fischler and Megan Tregedar as Web, Content, and UI Designers to the firms Creative Team. Grocery Shopping Network’s new additions, combined, have comprehensive experience working with industry leaders including General Mills, Best Buy, 3M, and Land O’Lakes.

“We’ve grown over 1000% in the last 3 years to represent over 6000 retail store locations, the new additions to our Creative and Digital Marketing teams will not only allow us to sustain our growth; they will allow us to better serve our clients,” said Robert Krajeski (, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Grocery Shopping Network. “Jennifer, Megan, Robert, and Jon are experienced professionals with a history of innovation; we are very excited to welcome them to the GSN family.”

Jennifer and Robert will work with Grocery Shopping Network’s Digital Marketing Team to assist retailers converting GSN’s advertising campaign ROI analysis and POS transaction data from over 40 million loyalty card holders into more successful marketing programs that drive registration and customer programs. Playing a vital role in the development and implementation of marketing communication plans, targeting both consumers and businesses, Jennifer’s diverse experience combined with Robert’s innovative digital thinking and extensive industry expertise positions GSN to sustain their continued growth while enhancing their service capabilities to more efficiently meet their client’s needs.

Bringing a fresh perspective to design and style direction, Megan and Jon will work with Grocery Shopping Network’s Creative Team to expedite project workflows while supporting the creation of relevant content that reflect the quality workmanship GSN’s clients depend upon to succeed. Drawing on their diverse backgrounds as well as their individual histories of innovation and success, Megan and Jon will be key elements in GSN’s continued expansion into the social media space and also the mobile shopping space.

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