Three Ways Custom Health & Wellness Programs Help Retailers Stand Out
Retailers have been quick to react to consumers’ increasing demand for product data transparency and have been somewhat successful in providing more basic product information. This is most evident in shelf tag health and wellness (H&W) programs we’ve seen implemented in stores over the past several years (think: those small tags on store shelves that call out claims like "organic", "gluten-free," or "heart-healthy"). While these initiatives have been limited to a set number of health attributes, they have provided retailers with a first glimpse into the challenges and opportunities surrounding product data transparency.
Now, it is generally accepted that going from a limited set of H&W attributes maintained for a shelf tag program to addressing full product data transparency is a significant leap of capability. But retailers that take this leap will be able to leverage product data in a number of ways, across all use cases, and most importantly, in a scalable manner. Retailers who attack full product data transparency will be able to slice and dice the data to service such use cases as Custom Health and Wellness programs, innovative Category Review Processes, or to make their inventory more discoverable through engaging search and filtering experiences, to name a few use cases.
We know this because we’ve been helping retailers of all sizes do just this for more than ten years. What we’ve learned is that the more custom a product data program is that we provide retailers, the more differentiated their program becomes, and ultimately, the more successful and engaging for their shoppers. Generally, these programs are powered by custom attributes like ingredient avoidance attributes, retailer-specific health attributes, and dietitians pick attributes, but they also can extend to custom categorization of inventory, or even custom taxonomy work. Whatever form the customization takes, enabling retailers to spin up custom data views quickly and at scale is a leading enabler of innovation. Here are three ways in which retailers are using custom product data views to create new value.
Health and Wellness Programs
Many retailers seek to improve their (H&W) initiatives and create better shopping experiences for people seeking specific foods, like gluten-free or heart healthy. They can do this by creating a custom H&W view of the data. Typically, these Custom Views focus on a specific set of H&W attributes, and sometimes social and sustainability attributes that are rolled out across the shopper experience with the aim of simplifying an array of possible messages into easier-to-digest information points.
Once a retailer’s Custom View is established, the data can be distributed across the in-store, mobile, and digital shopping experience, as well as shared internally so stakeholders can incorporate the data into analytics and insight processes internally. Here are some sample use cases:
- Offer health-conscious shoppers an easy way to identify products that meet their lifestyles, ultimately making them more discoverable.
- Create a more homogeneous omni-channel experience with consistent H&W info across all channels: in-store, mobile, and online.
- Analyze inventory to identify which products meet specific H&W standards.
- Empower internal H&W experts to provide a more scalable customer support experience.
- Set your H&W experience apart from others in a crowded market.
Category Review Process
In contrast to H&W, category review data is detailed for a specific category. These views give retailers a granular understanding of the specific attributes that are relevant to a given category (e.g., low sodium in the frozen foods category). With this new information, retailers can make data-driven decisions to optimize product mix, help align price, promotion, and assortment with customer needs, and maximize category growth potential. Here’s a quick look at what retailers can do with this data.
- Better understand the performance of their SKUs and determine the common thread around high- or under-performing products
- Identify which factors are driving sales in order to make smarter decisions around share of shelf
- Make better blocking decisions, with the ability to easily lay out shelving based on product attributes, such as "paleo", "all natural" and "organic"
- Create category-specific attributes, such as "calcium rich" in the dairy category, or "trans fat-free" in the bakery and confectionery categories, to give a unique view into their inventory, and to ultimately make products more discoverable.
- Analyze inventory to bring in products that meet a specific criteria with the aim of optimizing the assortment.
Both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retailers can use Custom Views to inform their digital strategies and increase site engagement. This is largely achieved through better search & filter tools. A lot of product information doesn’t make its way to consumers because it isn’t listed on the packaging, due to a lack of space. This isn’t a limiting factor online; in fact, it’s a big opportunity. Using a custom e-commerce view of the product data can help retailers organize granular product data – both on- and off-package data – in a way that makes every product considerably more searchable.
So now when a shopper searches online for "paleo desserts" or "high-fiber snacks", all products with these attributes are discoverable. The result is a better shopping experience, more engagement, more traffic, and ultimately larger basket sizes and loyalty. But a custom e-commerce view goes beyond improving online search functionality. Here are some other use cases retailers are taking advantage of:
- Create a custom recommendation engine that helps online shoppers find more products with similar ingredient, nutritive, and marketing attributes
- Alleviate digital “out of stock” search results by showcasing all products within a specific product attribute set, such as gluten-free cereals, high-fiber snack foods or preservative-free frozen foods
This is just a quick look at how custom product data views are giving retailers a leg up on their competitors, and creating better experiences for their customers. If you want to learn more about how a custom Label Insight SmartSPEC could help your business get ahead, let us know.