The pandemic-related shift in retail operations and consumer shopping habits has increased opportunity for promoting online. Using MAP funds, the California Table Grape Commission (commission) targeted online shoppers via loyalty programs in multiple export markets. The commission worked with a major retail chain in Australia that reached 1.2 million of its loyalty program customers via emails featuring California grapes. In September and October 2021, just under 182,000 shoppers activated the chain’s website link which directed them to the California grape purchase page – resulting in a 9 percent increase in online California grape sales.
In New Zealand, another customer loyalty promotion was conducted with a large retail chain where customers could earn bonus points toward kitchenware when they purchased California grapes in-store or online. During the activity period, November through early December 2021, the chain also promoted California grapes on social media, reaching over 696,700 shoppers nationwide via Facebook and Instagram.
A new customer loyalty promotion across 160 stores of a retail chain in Japan also motivated shoppers to purchase California grapes. Various digital communication methods were used to inform shoppers about the points they would receive on their loyalty cards when purchasing California grapes. During the two-month promotion, the volume of California grapes increased 81 percent versus the month prior to the promotion.
Finding new ways to reach out to primary shoppers across markets is vital in sustaining the success of the table grape industry and the mostly small, multi-generational table grape growers it consists of.