By Kelly Sayko
Hillphoenix Case Division Product Marketing Manager
Is your grocerant showing up when people search for “food near me” or a speciality item such as pizza?
When you’re hungry and sitting at a stoplight, does your smartphone search engine, TripAdvisor or Zagat app help you find your next meal? Restaurants have the competitive advantage of showing up in almost all search engines, on maps and review sites simply because they exist. In a study by the National Restaurant Association, 90 percent of millennials and 60 percent of baby boomers own or use a smartphone or tablet.
A presence on Facebook, Instagram and online review sites can make a huge difference in customer awareness, bringing new customers in and keeping loyal ones aware of changes, seasonal offerings, and special events. Simply posting the hours, locations, and contact information for your grocerant can make the difference between being discovered by a new customer and being overlooked altogether. When developing your digital presence make sure you help customers find you easily with directions and viewable menus. Also, think about on-line ordering, coupons, event schedules, and nutritional information; you can be sure your restaurant competitors offer those details.
Sites like Yelp, which offer options for customer reviews and comments, can help customers feel like they have a voice in your business and true opinions about the craveablity of your offerings. This not only benefits customers, it reveals what your customers are saying about your menu. Instead of assuming that you know them and their preferences, you can access that information firsthand. Technology is your key to unlocking a whole new segment of your customer community. Use online listings to position your grocerant as an attractive, fresh alternative to the restaurant down the street, but with more options and a customer-oriented attitude!