Earth Fare is a rapidly growing national chain of health-conscious grocery stores, headquartered in Asheville, NC. Earth Fare’s vision is to be the most trusted organic and natural food market in the country – a place where healthy decisions are easy, people have confidence in the food they buy and everyone feels welcome. To accomplish this, Earth Fare has embarked on a rapid multi-state expansion plan.
With a strict food philosophy that bans any food from their shelves containing high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, or sweeteners—among other things, Earth Fare wants to be known as the grocery store for REAL food. However, they had become better known for their constant couponing than the quality of their product. Earth Fare partnered with agencyQ to help them better align their digital strategy with their business goals, closing the gap between in-store and online.
To make matters more challenging, Earth Fare was limited by having so many disparate, disconnected technical properties: Sitecore for their CMS, Eventbrite for holiday food reservations, SumoText for text deals, EmailDirect for e-newsletters / campaigns, Retallix for point of sale / loyalty program data, among others. Having data in so many different places made it nearly impossible to ever get accurate reports, and created bottlenecks in the shopping experience.
Sales data showed that during the first Thanksgiving campaign period, Earth Fare achieved $1.7 million in sales. Additionally, at Earth Fare’s busiest hour during the campaign, the tool processed more than $161,000 in sales. Earth Fare and agencyQ have continued to iterate on the food tool and its reporting capabilities over several subsequent campaigns.
In addition, Earth Fare gained greater control over their digital content, reducing the time and technical skill needed to create new content. This created significant efficiency among Earth Fare staff, allowing them to more effectively achieve their goals.
agencyQ conducted ongoing maintenance and enhancements for earthfare.com, including new template development, improving ease of content management, repairing and hardening against major security issues and design enhancements to align with the evolving branding.
Earth Fare also runs a holiday food ordering campaign in which customers can reserve their turkeys and side dishes and then pick up in store. Previously, they had been using Eventbrite as a workaround solution, but this presented challenges when it came to inventory tracking and reporting and was a clunky user experience for customers.
agencyQ partnered with Earth Fare’s marketing, IT and foodservice teams to create a custom food ordering tool in Sitecore, including:
* Enable Earth Fare HQ staff to create new campaigns, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, and catering after the holiday season
* Order workflows based on store location, what the user is ordering, and the level of information they’re able to provide (email, phone, etc.)
* Backend admin interface that allowed foodservice staff at headquarters and within each store location track and update inventory levels as needed throughout the fulfillment windows
* Developed custom inventory reports that were automatically generated and emailed to Earth Fare staff on a daily schedule during each campaign
Following the first release of the food reservation tool, agencyQ continued to work with Earth Fare to focus and streamline its digital strategy. This included:
* Leveraging Sitecore’s robust analytics and personalization capabilities to reduce customers’ dependency on deals and coupons by disseminating more focused, personalized content that speaks to Earth Fare’s value and food philosophy
* Extending the conversation about Earth Fare on social networks by unifying Earth Fare’s hundreds of store-level Facebook and Twitter pages into single corporate level platforms.
* Laying the foundation for a full-site redesign, informing content strategy and user experience
* Working with Earth Fare on ways to increase adoption and usage of their Tomato Bank loyalty program
* Connecting Earth Fare’s Content Management System (CMS) with its Point of Sale system to be able to trace the effectiveness of online activities to ultimate sales conversions in-store