The path to purchase gets personal

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The path to purchase gets personal

During a presentation in Chicago at the 2019 Path to Purchase Expo, Michael Schuh opened up his personal life to the audience. Third-party data revealed that Schuh, director of product strategy and innovation for Kroger Precision Marketing, was a renter, not a home owner, and that his interests were diet soda and minivans.

None of that was true. The third-party data had his age and the age of his children wrong, also.

Kroger’s first-party data, however, accurately described Schuh as an average spender of $74.29 per visit. It had a lot of other things correct, too, such as his preferred store, what inspires his shopping habits (quality and convenience), what brands he’s loyal to (Simple Truth, Old Spice, Chobani) and in what categories he's likely to play the field (cheese, salty snack, frozen waffles).

[Path to Purchase Institute members can access more than 1,800 shopper marketing and technology insight articles, more than 14,000 marketing and merchandising images, and detailed retailer profiles — including operations and strategy info. See profiles for Kroger and Ahold Delhaize on]

Accuracy matters. Kroger Precision Marketing, with that first-party data, says it can target different messages to different shoppers such as identify a shopper who’s never purchased a brand and curate a deep offer to get that person to buy. Plus, a shopper who is very loyal to a brand can get a message that rewards the purchase.

Hardware and building supply dealers can draw a lesson from retail giant Kroger.  The company is unlocking what a shopper deems valuable to them through data, and value doesn’t just mean a lower price anymore, Schuh said. He added that the data only gets more granular as it collects more and more over time.

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