With online grocery shopping becoming the norm for many and a necessity for some, FairPrice’s eCommerce team designed a roadmap of key initiatives to build on its digital assets to increase overall revenue and profitability. By integrating online and offline shopping, FairPrice was able to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience while improving monitoring of shoppers’ behaviour and personalise product offerings. This enabled the team to take home the silver award for Best in eCommerce – Supermarkets/Hypermarkets at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Asia eCommerce Awards 2021.
With the pandemic transforming the retail industry, many businesses have pivoted online and customers expect quicker in-store transactions, reduced queue waiting times and minimised physical contact. While the demand for online groceries has increased, FairPrice also had to contend with more competitors jumping onto the e-grocer bandwagon. FairPrice not only needed to retain and engage existing customers but also attract new customer segments and monetize its digital assets to increase overall revenue and profitability.
To address the challenges, FairPrice designed a roadmap of key initiatives that would not only maintain FairPrice’s leadership position but also further gain market share through retention and acquisition.
1. Launch of FairPrice Digital Club – loyalty programme for online grocery shopping
With a surge in new customers, the team knew that retention became a priority. Through social listening, FairPrice uncovered two major insights on what customers had issues with - service fee and the inability to earn NTUC LinkPoints for online purchases. With the introduction of the FairPrice Digital Club, customers can enjoy unlimited service fee waivers, exclusive member promotions and earn and redeem their NTUC LinkPoints for just SG$9.90 a month.
2. Expansion of product assortment through Marketplace
To better meet the needs of existing customers and attract new ones, FairPrice increased its marketplace sellers from 216 to 700 and expanded products from 32,000 to 100,000 with greater support for local sellers and brands.
3. Attracting new customers by focusing on under-indexed categories
Through constant reviews based on Google Search and Instacart data, the team found that pet supplies and fresh foods were a recurring top-searched category with online sales reaching a three times increase post-pandemic. Thus, workstreams were set up to grow the identified under-indexed categories.
FairPrice held its first-ever online Pets Fair and increase its pet-related products by 16x. A “Shop Fast, Shop Fresh” campaign was also launched to build confidence and address concerns that customers may have about buying fresh produce online. Creatives and videos that were created aimed to reassure customers that their fresh produce was carefully handpicked by trained packers and delivered to them as soon as possible.
Identifying customers’ pain points and improving their online shopping experience were also crucial in the team’s retention strategy. Several web and app features were launched with enhanced personalisation capabilities to facilitate customers’ purchase-making process. The team also leveraged data to create personalised content based on shopper segments, missions and historical preferences.
1. Striving for perfect order fulfilment with product substitution
Through NPS tracking, the team realised that many incomplete customer orders were due to out-of-stock items at the time of checkout. An AI-driven algorithm was developed to identify the right substitutes, considering the customer’s preferences such as brand, price and size. The out-of-stock item would be replaced with something similar at no extra cost.
2. Ratings and reviews of products
To help customers make informed buying decisions, a Ratings and Reviews feature was launched for 12 product categories. Customers could see the ratings given for the products and were encouraged to make the same purchases.
3. Creation of relevant educational and trending content to drive engagement
In addition to the ongoing campaign eDMs, a monthly content calendar was curated for different shopper segments. For the Fresh Runners segment, the team piloted a Cook Fresh, Easy eDM series to promote fuss-free recipes based on top-selling fresh ingredients and current trends. For pet owners, the team personalised the content of eDMs based on the type of pets they owned. For young families, educational articles on breastfeeding, weaning and fun crafting ideas during the school holidays were sent out.
4. Maximising CRM subscriber lifetime and commercial value with data-driven algorithms
To drive engagement, the team leveraged a dynamic frequency algorithm based on customers’ historical preferences in order to push out more relevant and timelier eDMs. Additionally, the team launched a Time to Repurchase Hyper Personalised Push Notification System that could predict a customer’s repurchase cycle and automatically triggers a personalised message to remind users to replenish grocery items from the relevant categories.
5. Launch of omni-app feature to increase digitally connected customers
FairPrice launched the Digital Checkout feature on its app to integrate online and offline shopping. With this feature, the team could increase app downloads, traffic and usage while allowing customers to conveniently pay, earn and redeem LinkPoints with a cashless and cardless experience. More importantly, the team could better monitor shoppers’ behaviour, thus providing advertisers with a 360-degree view of their campaign’s sales attribution and see how they could further improve on their campaigns to increase sales.
FairPrice’s initiatives were a success. The team was able to significantly increase revenue, add-to-cart rates and conversion rates. The initiatives also successfully attracted new customers and more importantly, retained existing ones and encouraging repeat purchases.