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Officials at Haggen Food & Pharmacy, the largest independent grocery retailer in the Pacific Northwest, wanted to launch their new loyalty program into the digital realm.
With a big assist from Unata, the award winning omni-commerce provider, Haggen has achieved its goal.
Haggen’s new ecommerce platform will increase its customer experience offerings and digital presence. The technology will enable 1-to-1 recommendations across the online experience, including personalized ecommerce homepages and searches, individualized product recommendations, and personalized circulars to drive in-store purchases.
Beth Walsh, Vice President of Consumer Insights for Haggen, talked to Loyalty360 about the company’s exciting new loyalty program.
Can you talk about the new loyalty program, what prompted it, and what makes it unique?
We’ve been searching for a loyalty partner that provides more than just points and coupons. We wanted something that would give our customers something useful and relevant to each individual. Our customers are unique, and their shopping habits and grocery needs are extremely varied. They deserve more than a cookie-cutter program that treats everyone the same.
We’ve been looking for a program like this for some time now, and as we dug deeper into Unata’s offerings, we found ourselves nodding our heads in agreement—this platform had the capabilities that we were looking for. And Unata has been great about helping us customize the program so that it’s unique to Haggen.
Loyalty programs have a tendency to be cold and impersonal. We’re excited about this opportunity to connect with our guests on a personal level and translate the Haggen experience to the digital realm.
What are your goals for the loyalty program?
We love our stores—the people, the products, the customers—but it’s a tough market out there, and these days it takes a little more to get people to go out of their way for groceries. We want to give our customers authentic rewards that make the trip worth their time. By providing customized options and offering our guests deals that are applicable to them, on top of our fantastic assortment of hand-selected, local products, we have a unique proposition.
How will Unata impact your loyalty program offering?
We’ll be offering our customers personalized deals that have real value. Our partnership with Unata will allow us to upgrade our digital flyer, provide product recommendations and ratings, and incentivize every shopping trip with coupons, recipes and list-making tools to make shopping simple and easy.
Did customer feedback play a role in launching a loyalty program? Is this Haggen’s first loyalty program?
The feedback our customers provide to us is invaluable. We rely on their input to help shape Haggen into a place where people want to come for food, community and inspiration. So naturally, their feedback was key in selecting a new loyalty partner.
We’ve had a Haggen card in many of our stores for several years, and we were using third-party software to administer the program, but the capabilities of that program weren’t aligning with what our customers want out of a card. Loyalty programs have come a long way over the past few years, and most people have high expectations from a loyalty program. We felt we were doing a disservice to our customers to offer a program that was less than it should be, so we dropped that program entirely, and have been searching for the ideal solution to provide our guests with great deals that incorporate all the advantages of modern technology.
How do you define customer loyalty and has that definition changed or evolved in recent years?
Customer loyalty is everything. The narratives our customers weave about their experiences with Haggen define our brand, and bring new traffic in our doors every day. After more than 80 years in the business, we have loyal customers of all ages and backgrounds telling their stories and advocating for Haggen. But with the ever-increasing competition in this business, it’s more important than ever to reach out in every way we can to reward that loyalty, and to give them more than one reason to drive past the other stores.
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