- Save A Lot is expanding its retail media capabilities in a tie-up with retail technology supplier Swiftly in an effort to compete more effectively with larger grocery retailers, according to a Monday announcement.
- Swiftly is updating Save A Lot’s existing website as well as powering the discount grocer’s first-ever mobile app, Swiftly co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Sean Turner said in an interview.
- Smaller grocers, including discount and regional chains, continue to tap technology companies to establish retail media networks in order to keep up with national chains like Kroger and Albertsons.
Swiftly’s partnership with Save A Lot will connect the grocer’s approximately 800 independently licensed locations under one cohesive platform and marks Swiftly’s first partnership with an independent owner-model retailer, Turner said.
The discount grocer will be able to offer its customers “great digital consumer engagement” through the soon-to-launch mobile app and revamped website in addition to a loyalty and rewards program, Turner said. He added that, on the back end, Swiftly is helping with the “heavy lifting” for managing retail media across many independent owners and operators.
“Each [Save A Lot] store owner can decide what products they want to carry, so they might have different product catalogs [and] wildly different pricing strategies,” Turner said. “So you have to have a technology solution that can deal with that level of complexity where each store can essentially operate as a completely different business. And that’s one of the capabilities that we’ve really built into our platform to make it easy to meet grocers where they are and adapt all of the intricacies you have in brick and mortar.”
The partnership is also giving shoppers the ability to clip and redeem coupons and offers directly on the mobile app and website, Turner said. The program includes Swiftly’s alcohol rebates product, allowing customers to save on beer, wine and spirits as well as receive cash back on their purchases.
On the retail media side, Swiftly will expand Save A Lot’s digital footprint, giving the grocer access to a vast advertising market and increasing engagement between customers and CPG companies, the announcement noted.
The retail media network will provide a “near real-time feed” that can cover all of Save A Lot’s locations with technology that is able to determine the stores that carry given products so the correct ad appears at the corresponding store, Turner said.
“What's really significant about that is even though there's different point-of-sale systems in those stores [and] different inventory systems, our technology is able to plug into that disparate environment and make it look like one front door from a consumer perspective,” Turner said. “And the other big advantage is you, as the buyer, are really able to buy beyond just Save A Lot. You can buy it for the broader Swiftly network and that's really key, because that's how you access national brand budgets and brand dollars on the brand side.”
The Save Mart Companies, which runs around 200 supermarkets across California and Nevada under the Save Mart, Lucky and FoodMaxx banners, also partnered with Swiftly in May to launch a retail media network.
Turner noted that while retail media has become critical throughout the industry, it’s not “evenly distributed” among independent retailers and larger companies.
“We really see it as our mission to democratize those benefits across the entirety of the brick and mortar industry because, ultimately, that’s a better experience for the consumers, and it’s better for our supplier ecosystem,” he said.