Case StudiesNeighborhood Fresh
Independent Grocer Outperforms National Chain with AppCard
Neighborhood Fresh is a local fresh grocery store with four locations in Northeastern Indiana: Gas City, North Manchester, Syracuse, and North Webster. Neighborhood Fresh has ample services for their shoppers, including bakery, deli, lottery, carpet cleaning rentals, custom cake decorating, large selection of beer and wine, and a large selection of natural and organic items.
In 2019, Neighborhood Fresh began the search for a new wholesaler. After deciding to partner with Spartan Nash as their new wholesaler, they learned about AppCard’s offerings and in late 2020 began the process of getting an AppCard-powered loyalty program set up in their stores. In March 2021, Neighborhood Fresh launched their Neighborhood Fresh Rewards program in all four of their stores.
Neighborhood Fresh knew that the way of marketing and advertising was headed quickly towards the digital space. The age of relying on paper ads for increased sales and profit are nearly obsolete, especially with the increased push toward e-commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many local newspapers moving away from distributing a paper offering. As a local store deeply rooted in the community, Neighborhood Fresh wanted to be able to offer their shoppers the same perks they found in the weekly printed ad with the added ease of a customized digital platform. Neighborhood Fresh knew that without making a transition into digital marketing, they would not be able to keep up with their larger competitors who were already using the digital marketing space.
One of the best things about working with AppCard, says owner Todd Taylor, is the ability to quickly and easily create their own digital promotions and campaigns. In the past, creating a digital ad campaign would have taken weeks, if not months, and hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars—in addition to needing an engineer to create the promotion itself. With AppCard, Taylor says that creating an ad campaign is as easy as booking a hotel reservation online.
Since implementing the AppCard platform in March 2021, Neighborhood Fresh has seen continued growth of the percentage of transactions that come from shoppers who have enrolled to earn points and rewards. One of the most productive campaigns Neighborhood Fresh has run is a special month-long campaign they called App-Tober. During the month of October 2021, Neighborhood Fresh entered every loyal shopper who identified at check out by simply entering their phone number at the AppCard NTR into a daily drawing to win a $100 Neighborhood Fresh gift card. Taylor said App-Tober was the best $3,100 Neighborhood Fresh has ever spent! This promotion led to a 7% month over month increase in the percentage of shopper participation in the AppCard platform. And the best part? The percentage didn’t drop back off once the promotion was over. The percentage of shopper participation remained steady and even continued to grow by more than 8% over the past 12 months.
Another fun campaign Neighborhood Fresh ran with the AppCard platform was an especially sweet deal. In May 2022, Neighborhood Fresh partnered with Mars Wrigley to offer their loyalty members a $2 reward with purchase of a share size M&Ms. The results of the campaign were phenomenal for both Neighborhood Fresh and Mars Wrigley—this campaign led to a 68.9% increase in sales compared to the same 35-day period in 2021. This promotion excited members of both the Neighborhood Fresh community and their vendor community and has led to continued conversations about fun promotional opportunities that benefit both grocer and vendor.
It is not often that an independent grocer will outperform a large regional chain, let alone a national brand. Since implementing AppCard, Neighborhood Fresh has now beat a large competitor in same store sales growth five quarters in a row—and Todd Taylor says he doesn’t think the overlap in this success with the implementation of an AppCard loyalty program is a coincidence:
AppCard is a Member of the Intel IoT Solutions Alliance. A global ecosystem of more than 800 industry leaders, the Alliance offers its Members unique access to Intel technology, expertise, and go-to-market support, accelerating the deployment of best-in-class solutions. Powered by Intel CPU, AppCard J-brain ensures data is captured at the EDGE and transferred to the cloud where we run our machine learning and AI to guarantee that offers, rewards and campaigns are all personalized to shoppers and employees.