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How Brookshire Grocery is Personalizing The Customer Experience

December 29, 2015 by David Trites 135

Brookshire Grocery Company (BGC) has been providing families with quality foods since 1928. It has always provided outstanding service too, but now it’s taking the customer experience to the next level.

The company sees that times have changed. The digital economy is in full swing and BGC is preparing for the next wave of digitally enabled customers.

“By 2020 it is projected that Millennials will go from 5% of the buying power to close to 20% of the buying power. This generation grew up will cell phones in their hands, with laptops, with tablets – they are very digitally engaged. Our business has to change, it has to simplify everything for that customer,” said John D’Anna, senior vice president and CIO of Brookshire Grocery Company.

Over the years, Texas-based BGC has grown from one store into a regional food chain with more than 150 supermarkets. The company has been working hard to upgrade and modernize existing stores and introduced a unique new concept store called FRESH by Brookshire’s, which offers a mix of whole food store and traditional grocery store with unique produce.

BGC is also investing in new technology to make the company as efficient as possible. “Our new strategic plan is all about personalizing the experience for the customer inside of our stores, and a lot of that is going to be done with SAP solutions,” said D’Anna.

BGC has built a loyal following and it wants to keep it that way.  To best serve future generations it has to find new ways to engage customers both digitally and physically while they are in the store. “When a customer is in our store we want to know they are there, know their customer history, and be able to communicate with them in real time,” said D’Anna.

To enable its digital transformation, BGC is implementing the SAP Customer Activity Repository and SAP Customer Relationship Management applications running on the SAP HANA platform. “These tools are going to allow our category managers to see what our customers are buying and automatically set up promotions in real time,” said D’Anna.

Having a solid platform that instantly pulls all customer information together is going to help the company drive its omnichannel retail strategy forward. “It’s going to allow us to put the customer at the forefront of everything we do, from filling our warehouse, to the way that our category manager decides what products to put on the shelf,” said D’Anna.

The company isn’t investing in the latest retail technology for the fun of it. It’s an integral part of BGC’s future strategy, so it is tracking the ROI closely. “Part of the ROI will be determined by how many new digitally engaged customers we get and how much they spend with us. The difference between those two metrics will be how we define the success of the project,” said D’Anna.

By embedding customer data into every business process, BGC will be able to connect and engage with customers at a more personal and contextual level. An optimized in-store shopping experience will drive sales, and a single version of real-time data will ensure sound decision making. “The true benefit for the customer is the personalization of their shopping experience,” said D’Anna.

To learn more, check out this video:

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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