Vision and Trust
Shelf Scouter’s online grocery shopping software launched with the opening of Clifton Market, a community-based cooperative in Cincinnati, OH. While it is far more common (and easier) to sell a solution once it is built, the leadership at Clifton Market agreed to work with us because of our vision and trust. It was because of our vision to not just provide another technical solution but instead to deliver local retailers and cooperatives a platform for success that, after they compared us to established competition and flashy startups, Clifton trusted us to make our vision a reality for them.
Looking at our team, a group with decades of success in retail technology, marketing, and consulting but most of all passion to make a difference. It was easy to see why we earned their trust.
Clifton Market opened their doors in January 2017. It’s in a nice urban walking neighborhood, great population density, with several large medical facilities and a major university nearby. With those assets there were still challenges, 23,000 square feet of retail space, an urban parking lot, and Cincinnati is an ultra competitive grocery marketplace for obvious reasons. For the market to reach its sales targets they would have to attract more customers than the neighborhood could provide. Online shopping and delivery was the key to success. But how? The market had grocery people not technology or marketing experts.
So Clifton Market turned to Shelf Scouter. The tools we provide make it easy to create an online store filled with products (including images) so customers can easily shop from home or office. We’re flexible in our approach to customer needs, providing full service or DIY solutions. At Clifton Market we used a hybrid approach to build their online store. When launch day arrived we had in place:
- A stocked online store integrated with the Market’s POS system so in-store and online pricing are consistent.
- A product strategy implemented for each department.
- Online pop-up promotional shops that highlight the stores specials and make purchase easy.
- An in-store team trained and ready to serve.
We also had lots of nervous energy. Would anyone shop the online store? Would the team be able to execute? What had we missed in all of our preparation? Our questions were answered at 9:15am when the first order came in. Then another came in, and then another. The Clifton Market team executed very well, dealt with a few bumps very professionally, and overall met the challenge. The next day was a repeat of the first, and each day after the orders have kept coming.
Positioning for Long Term Success
Of course setting up an online store is only the beginning, being successful online is a much greater challenge. This is where Shelf Scouter’s ongoing presence and knowledge of strategy, marketing, and technology has allowed us to evolve from a standard online store to something unique at Clifton Market, creating a true partnership for their online success. The Shelf Scouter difference is thanks to:
- Weekly success calls with the markets staff to ensure progress is measured while responsibility and accountability are clearly defined.
- Executive level meetings to identify the Market’s needs, ensure efficient use of existing assets, leveraging the Market’s strengths, identifying and filling gaps.
- Leveraging strategic partnerships has allowed us to expand the reach of the market and provide services like delivery without adding to the markets cost or management overhead.
The result has been the successful launch of the Clifton Market online store which can find at cliftonmarket.com. The introduction of delivery services and new growing partnerships with medical facilities, the university, and nearby high-density residential communities are yielding new customers and delivering revenue growth for the market. There are still many opportunities to help Clifton Market achieve their maximum success. The team and the tools are in place, customer demand is high, and the future looks very bright.
At Shelf Scouter we are proud of our partnership with Clifton Market and what has been accomplished in a few short months with much more to come. We want all independent grocers and cooperatives to achieve their best success. I encourage you to visit our website at shelfscouter.com, we offer a free consultation and assessment of your store(s).
Doug Goodwin is the Chief Revenue Officer at Shelf Scouter. Doug can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org