Case StudiesTown Market
AppCard & MDI Free Item Friday Helps Local Grocer Boost Sales
Town Market has been Pine Level, North Carolina’s neighborhood grocery store since 2002. Located about 35 miles southeast of Raleigh, Pine Level is a small town of around 2,100 residents. Town Market makes it their mission to provide the freshest meats and produce for their loyal customers and not lose sight of the personal, old-fashioned touch of a locally owned and operated grocery store. In an industry where the competition includes some of the largest corporations in the world, it’s important to stand out.
Mary Daughtry, co-owner of Town Market, said that even before she was introduced to AppCard, the need for a rewards and loyalty program was already at the forefront of her mind. When compared to larger stores, Town Market was missing a loyalty and rewards program. Since Pine Level is such a tight-knit community, Town Market needs to keep their shoppers happy and foster a sense of camaraderie. The owners of Town Market, Mary and Billy Daughtry, had two main goals when it came to starting a rewards program: increase sales and provide an avenue for shoppers to save money—especially given the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the Daughtrys were introduced to AppCard at the MDI food show in August 2021, they were immediately intrigued by the combination of the ShopToCook kiosk and the AppCard in-lane terminal (NTR). One of their biggest requirements for a rewards program was that it wouldn’t be dependent on a physical card. AppCard’s NTR allows shoppers to simply enter their phone number at the point of sale, rather than having to keep up with a physical card. The Daughtrys wanted the shopper experience to be fun, easy, and quick to keep the focus on savings.
Town Market began the AppCard install process mid-November 2021 and fully launched their rewards program on December 10, 2021. Though some of their customers took a bit of time to adjust to the new technology, the overall reaction has been very positive. Shoppers are excited to be able to save money and earn points at their favorite grocery store. Shoppers are happy to learn to do something new, and Town Market cashiers are always ready to help if a shopper has a question.
Built for independent grocers, the key benefit of AppCard is having a dedicated Customer Success Manager to guide grocers through the platform and implement promotions. Town Market’s Customer Success Manager, Stacey, works hard to support Town Market and make sure they have everything they need. “Stacey has been a wonderful support,” Mary and Brandi Appell, Town Market’s front-end manager and manager of special projects said. “We know we have access to her, and that’s a big secret to the success. We’ve asked some challenging questions, and she has always risen to the occasion.”
One of the strongest promotions through AppCard’s partnership with MDI is the Free Item Friday (FIF) program. This promotion is automatically implemented for all MDI retailers who wish to participate. For this promotion, an email goes out on Friday morning to shoppers with details of the Free Item Friday for that week, and the shopper must clip the coupon on Friday. The shopper can then redeem the coupon while shopping on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. When the shopper inputs their phone number at the NTR, the item for that week rings up as 100% off.
Free Item Friday is a great way to get shoppers excited about joining a rewards program. When Mary and Brandi originally heard about Free Item Friday from their MDI rep, they weren’t sure it was something that would go well with their shoppers. But during the AppCard and MDI webinar in January, another store owner raved about their success with Free Item Friday, encouraging other grocers to give it a try. On average items included on Free Item Friday see a whopping 300% increase in sales during the weekend of the promotion in comparison with prior weekends.
Town Market had its first Free Item Friday on February 25, 2022 and has seen amazing results from the promotion. Town Market was already a strong Thursday-Friday-Saturday store, especially due to their Senior Days on Thursday. Mary Daughtry said of sales on Fridays after implementing the FIF promotion, “I didn’t think our Fridays could be much stronger, but they are.”
“I didn’t think our Fridays could be much stronger, but they are.”
The sales numbers from Free Item Friday speak for themselves. After the implementation of Free Item Friday, Town Market’s average weekend sales increased by more than 20%. Free Item Friday gets shoppers in the door and boosts sales.
AppCard’s partnership with Town Market’s wholesaler, MDI, has been incredibly beneficial. With AppCard’s platform and MDI’s promotions, Town Market has been able to provide their shoppers with savings on their favorite products while still increasing sales.
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