Ahold's Amy Hahn: 'We're becoming more and more diverse'
Since Royal Ahold and Delhaize Group merged in July 2016, the new Ahold Delhaize has been working on using the strengths of its various banners and brands to best appeal to the 100 million U.S. shoppers it serves.
“Everybody has a patchwork of capabilities," Ahold USA Senior Vice President of Marketing Amy Hahn said on Tuesday during a keynote session at the Shopper Marketing Summit in New York. “It’s a really exciting time and a great opportunity for the company to bring all these brands together to get those capabilities embedded in all the brands we’ve got.”
That unity is necessary to help the retailer deal with major challenges such as changes in demographics.
“We’re seeing big shifts in ethnic, generational and income makeup in our customers in the U.S.," Hahn said. "We’re becoming more and more diverse.”
The retailer has launched a variety of tactics to appeal to shoppers looking for value and the excitement of trying new things. For example, the Ahold USA chains began running a weekly "Free-day!" promotion last year, offering a digital coupon for a free SKU that can only be downloaded that day. Two years ago Ahold USA launched Savory, a magazine distributed in stores and online that delivers recipes that are matched with coupons to make shopping for the recipes affordable.
Personalized messaging is also a major focus. Ahold Delhaize is using loyalty data to get to know shoppers and give them the most relevant information and offers.
“It’s a huge, huge opportunity for us," Hahn said. "Every day we’re marrying marketing and technology.”
The retailer's chains use the data to send out regular emails with relevant digital coupons, which in turn encourage shoppers to download the chain's mobile application. The emails also highlight items specific from the weekly circular selected from their shopping history.
With e-commerce continuing to be a disruptive force for brick-and-mortar retailers, Ahold Delhaize is also working to expand its Peapod grocery delivery service to other markets. The retailer has found that shoppers who use Peapod and shop at an Ahold store spend twice as much.
“We’ve got the omnichannel capability ,and we’re trying to figure out how to make all the channels work together under a single customer hierarchy,” Hahn said.
The Shopper Marketing Summit is staged by the Path to Purchase Institute, owned by EnsembleIQ, also the parent company of Store Brands magazine.