Grocery Store Marketing: 7 Ways to Leverage POS Data for Promotion

As a small grocery store owner, you know that bringing new customers in the door — and keeping hold of the customers you already have — is vital if you want to survive in this competitive market. But it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to marketing your store. 

Should you offer sales? On which items? Maybe it’s time to wade into the waters of social media marketing. Or is that a waste of time for a store like yours? 

Is your head spinning yet?

Fortunately, there’s a simple tool you can use to make data-driven decisions about where to spend your marketing dollars, time, and effort: your point of sale (POS) system data

In this post, we'll show you how to use your POS data to develop effective marketing strategies that will drive traffic to your store and increase sales. In our easy-to-action list, we'll cover everything you need to know to take your marketing to the next level.

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Why Grocery Store Marketing Matters 

Competition in the grocery industry can be fierce. If you aren’t leveraging current trends in the market and effective marketing strategies to grow your business, you run the risk of getting left in the dust. By keeping up with the latest industry trends and investing in marketing, you can attract new customers and keep your existing ones coming back for more.

Let’s examine a couple of current trends in the grocery market:

  • Organic and Locally-Sourced Products: Consumers have grown more health-conscious and environmentally aware over the past several years. As a result, these customers want to shop at a store that carries healthy, organic products that are sustainable and align with their values. 
  • Online Grocery Shopping: Convenience is king. Customers want to save time wherever they can, and online ordering and delivery for groceries is a popular time-saving choice in the modern market. By investing in online ordering, you can change the game for your small grocery store and better compete with the big guys. 

Following trends by offering organic products and online ordering will help your business… but only if customers know you offer these things. You’ll need to implement a strong marketing strategy for your store to get this awareness. Without such a strategy, you risk losing out to larger competitors and missing out on potential customers. 

When you crush your marketing game, however, you’ll experience a broad range of benefits, including increased foot traffic in your store, better customer retention, and more revenue. 

You want to build a community of loyal customers for your store and position yourself as a trusted provider of the high-quality groceries shoppers want. Grocery store marketing might just be the key to unlocking all of this and more for your store. 

1. Identify Top-Selling Products 

One of the most important pieces of sales data for any grocery store is the answer to the question, “Which products are selling the best?” 

Your POS system can provide you with information about which of your products are the most popular sellers for your store. This data can help you create promotions and special offers, either encouraging customers to purchase more of the bestselling product or perhaps pairing a top seller with a less successful item to clear old stock.

Example: You could pair your top-selling pasta sauce with a brand of spaghetti that is selling poorly for a promotion to sell more pasta sauce, while also clearing your old stock of the poorly-selling spaghetti. 

Related Read: 4 Ways Grocery Data Analytics Help Drive Revenue

2. Identify Patterns in Customer Behavior 

You can also use your point of sale data to identify customer behavior patterns and buying habits. What products do people tend to repurchase most frequently? How often are customers shopping in your store? This data can help you drill down into understanding your customers’ preferences, helping you prepare to meet those demands. 

Related Read: How To Measure Customer Loyalty

When you understand how your customers shop, you can create marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with them. These efforts can help you increase your sales and customer loyalty. 

Example: If a customer tends to buy pet food every third week, you could offer them a targeted promotion during that week. A deal on pet supplies provides value and encourages them to purchase more pet products that week. 

3. Personalize Your Promotions 

Does your POS solution offer personalized customer data or allow you to segment customer groups by identifying characteristics or behaviors? If so, you can use this data to offer powerful, valuable promotions designed to meet the customers where they are. 

Consider offering customers discounts on items they have purchased frequently in the past, or offering a promotion on products related to products the customer has purchased previously.

You can combine these efforts with customer loyalty programs to maximize the impact of both efforts and give customers more reasons to keep coming back to your store, even if there is a lot of competition in your area.

Example: If a segment of your customer population always buys the small package of Folgers coffee, offer a coupon for the largest size of Folgers coffee to provide value and encourage a larger purchase. 

4. Create Customer Loyalty Programs 

Speaking of loyalty programs, you can use POS data to boost sales and improve customer retention by offering customer loyalty programs at your store. Loyalty programs can also allow you to collect more personalized, valuable customer data (such as birthdates, contact information, and more), which can help you further personalize your marketing efforts. 

Create a loyalty program that rewards return customers with coupons, promotions, or other special treatment when they give you their repeated business or take another specific desired action.

Example: Offer loyalty program members a 15 percent off coupon after their second visit to your store to use on their next purchase. 

5. Identify Opportunities for Cross-Selling 

Do you know what products are often purchased together? If so, you can make efforts to cross-promote and cross-sell, increasing sales of both products! 

You can offer special promotions and discounts when customers purchase complementary items. These efforts will boost each customer’s spend in your store, while also improving their customer experience through convenience and perceived value. 

You can also use this data to adjust your store layout. If customers frequently purchase cookies and milk together, it might be advantageous to place the cookie aisle beside the refrigerated section for simplified shopping.

Example: Your customers tend to purchase peanut butter and jelly together. You can offer $1 off a jar of jelly when it’s purchased with a tub of peanut butter. 

6. Optimize Your Pricing Strategy 

Are you maximizing your store’s potential through your pricing strategy? 

If you aren’t sure, try analyzing your POS system's pricing trends and sales patterns. Try raising the price of a top-selling item to increase your profit margins, or decreasing prices on an item that is struggling to match customer demand better. 

Related Read: Top 5 Point of Sale Systems for Grocery Stores

This approach to pricing can help increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. Customers will appreciate pricing that is fair and competitive.

7. Monitor Your Inventory 

Finally, and perhaps most obviously, you can use your POS data to monitor inventory levels. Keeping an eye on product availability and sales rates can help you avoid losing sales due to out-of-stock items. 

Keeping a finger on the pulse of your inventory levels can help you ensure that popular items are always available for customers to purchase. Customers will appreciate it if your store always has the items they need in stock when they need them. 

Pro-Tip: Set a reorder threshold for popular items. This practice will urge you to order backup stock of bestsellers before you run out, meaning you never have an empty shelf when customers come looking.

IT Retail guide to POS hardware

Level Up Your Grocery Store Marketing 

As a small business owner, you know that time is precious — and always too limited. Leveraging the data in your POS system can help you ensure you’re spending your time and money wisely on marketing campaigns that will move the needle for your business.

Of course, without a robust POS solution, you won’t have reliable data you can use for these campaigns.

On the flip side, the right POS system can help you with marketing, customer loyalty promotions, inventory management, lightning-fast checkout processes, and more.

If your POS solution is falling flat, consider upgrading to a system like IT Retail. You can schedule a free demo of our solution today to see if IT Retail is right for you!