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Reducing Food Waste Through Personalisation

Greg Collins
Project Manager at Intouch.com
July 13, 2020
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The following post is an excerpt from intouch.com’s new whitepaper – Unlock The Power Of Personalisation In Forecourt Retail. The full whitepaper can be found here.

Food waste is a large and growing issue for the retail industry. Retailers in the UK alone create 250,000 tons of food waste per year.

Most grocery retailers regularly use promotions such as “Reduced to Clear” on their products that are going out of date in the near future. This can often be a great way for retailers to temporarily increase sales on these specific products. Minimising the food waste they create and the costs involved with this (both socially and economically).

Source: Karma

Retailers manage this by sticking adhesive labels on the packaging they wish to discount, which is not just time consuming, but also costly when it comes to labour and printing.

Imagine a world where stock nearing its sell-by-date was automatically promoted?

Forecourts can drastically reduce food waste by promoting various products at precise times of the day with digital solutions. In addition, digital solutions generate high levels of flexibility for messaging even outside of promotions, such as COVID-19 health precautions for customers.

Increasing Operational Efficiency
When AI is integrated with promotions in order to help target shoppers more accurately, the targeting gets smarter over time. For example, if a promotion for a product is shown five times in ten minutes but no sales are made, the AI model re-trains itself to promote a different product during this time. This is done until it can consistently promote products based on the internal and external environment that ultimately increases the conversion ratio.

Real-time pricing, as outlined previously, allows retailers the ability to influence demand for their products based on the internal environment (what products are in stock, what products are close to their sell-by date and who are the customers in the store) and external influences (weather, time of day, time of year, nearby events, trends on social media).

79% of retailers are investing in personalisation, the most of any industry. This shows the importance of personalised promotion and the ROI that retailers are seeing. When footfall in the UK is down by an average of 82% retailers must ensure they’re doing everything in their power to get customers spending while in-store.

Retail footfall slumps to record low – British Retail Consortium

67% of consumers say it’s important for brands to automatically adjust their content based on their current context for a real-time personalised experience.

Many consumers are aware that reducing plastic and minimising unnecessary travel can reduce their carbon footprint, but there is less of an emphasis on the detrimental effects food waste has. Saving food from being wasted, is environmentally smarter than eliminating cars and flights.

This post was an excerpt from intouch.com’s whitepaper – Unlock The Power Of Personalisation In Forecourt Retail. The fullwhitepaper can be found here.

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