Kroger, I Got A New Idea For You

Kroger, my wife loves you. Specifically the Marketplace store. She’ll drive past you just 2 miles from our home to shop at your West Chester Marketplace store off 129 at Cin-Day road. That’s a $4 gas surcharge while driving the Suburban, and she’ll do it anyway. No matter how much I try to explain this. I love you, too, Kroger. Why? Lots of reasons. You’re local. I could shop at W**-M*** or even bigg’s, but why when my friends work for you and my neighbors work for you. In fact, if you opened a store within my township I’d shop there to keep as much of the tax revenue as local as I could. And recently, you wow’d me with your handling of the yogurt recall.

I used to hate you. I was suspicious of your loyalty program. I signed up with fake credentials because I didn’t want my information floating around, within, and outside your walls. Over time you have won me over. I signed up for a new card with my real information. When I found out you called us personally to warn us of bad yogurt we had purchased I gained a new respect for your loyalty program and how you could use my data for good.

So I have something new for you now, Kroger. Help me. I know my budget is not your responsibility. But you know more about me than I do, and I could use your help. You can help me manage my family’s finances as closely as you manage your own. You can help me save more money. You can teach me about myself.

Consider. For starters, why do I need to fold up a 14-foot receipt when I’m only buying a pack of gum? In fact, why do you need to give me a receipt at all? You know where I live. You know my phone number. You know everything I’ve ever purchased from you. Just ask me for my email address and email my receipt to me. At this point, it’s a small step. Apple does this at their Apple stores. It’s not like you’ll be breaking new ground. Sure, some folks wouldn’t want this, so ask. Provide options. And if you can figure out how to make your receipts shorter (shouldn’t be too hard) then you’ll save a bunch of money given the volume of receipts you generate. Sort of like UPS trucks not making any left-hand turns.

Okay, Kroger, now that we’ve dealt with the receipts, take it a step further. Don’t just email me a receipt. Provide me data. Give me an opportunity to run reports on my spending habits. Help me understand where I spend my money and when. Show me how much money I spend on katsup or corn. By month, quarter, and year. Send it to me. Or allow me to download it and import it into a format that I can load into Quicken. Or even better, provide me an interface into your own database where I can categorize my purchases and set the formats of how I want to see reporting. And let me do this on the fly. How far can this go? It seems limitless.

You do this and how could I possibly EVER shop at one of those *other* supermarkets. You will have won me over for good.  For now 🙂



~ by Andy on June 17, 2008.

5 Responses to “Kroger, I Got A New Idea For You”

  1. Andy, do you suggest Kroger ask you for your email address at the checkout? Via a touchscreen or the actual clerk?

    I like your idea.


  2. Excellent idea on allowing customers to tap into their own spending data. If you are using a loyaly card, they could already have your email address on file for emailing receipts.

    Access to the spending data could easily be accessed by the loyalty card number and a password. Customers could also update personal information (name and address) and participte in other online activities such as surveys and special offers.

    I’ll quit rambling. You know me, if I hear an idea I have to design a solution.

  3. This is exactly what we need! Have you lobbied Kroger directly for it?

  4. They’ve actually done something similar in the past – basically using information attached to your card to assist with your Flexible Spending Account at year end so you don’t have to dig through your receipts. So they’ve actually implemented that tech before but must have hit a snag with customers

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