Regional grocer digitally engages in-store shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Giant Food is piloting a next-generation, in-store product engagement platform in select Washington, D.C., area stores.

The mid-Atlantic grocery chain, a banner of Ahold Delhaize USA, is partnering with CPG giant Unilever and retail marketing platform provider Perch to test interactive end caps in the beauty section of select stores. The end caps incorporate a digital screen that automatically senses what products shoppers touch to respond with videos and information about those items.

Customers can obtain product information from the end caps without having to scan a QR code, touch a screen, download an app, or take any additional action. Using Perch’s “lift-and-learn” technology, shoppers can get more information about Unilever skincare products by touching them, as if they had clicked on them online.

Unilever incorporated Perch into an integrated end cap with a glowing logo and lit shelves, seeking to drive additional attention to the CPG company’s Dove skincare products. The artificial intelligence (AI)-based Perch in-store digital engagement platform uses computer vision to detect product behavior at the shelf, anonymously detecting the presence of shoppers, what products they touch, and what content they engage with to bring in videos, ratings and reviews and product information for every product on the shelf

According to Perch, its platform drives five to 10 times the engagement of traditional digital signage and 30-188% sales lifts the in beauty, CPG, accessories, department store, and grocery sectors.

Giant Food parent Ahold Delhaize USA has been increasing the ability of its CPG brand partners to directly engage shoppers, both online and in-store. In March 2022, the Ahold Delhaize AD Retail Media platform for CPG marketers began offering new capabilities to reach customers across channels, including additional opportunities for the in-checkout lane media channel, as well as digital circular personalization, and new sign, display, shopping cart, and shelf-impact ads at select stores across its banners.

“Our goal for this launch was to have a product and brand education platform that communicates Unilever’s positive beauty vision for people and planet, promoting inclusion and wellness with Dove being the appropriate brand for this partnership,” said Christina DiPietro, Unilever team lead for Ahold. “With Perch’s smart shelf display, our products can deliver the right product message at the right time, so the Dove brand can educate and connect more deeply with its customers.  We are thrilled to launch this platform in select Giant Food stores and bring this partnership to life with Perch and Giant, connecting shoppers with our iconic Dove brand.”

“We are excited to extend our partnership with Unilever to promote Dove products after such a successful earlier trial driving triple-digit sales lift. Dove’s brand message is inspiring and we are excited to help shoppers better connect with their category-leading products,” said Perch CEO Trevor Sumner. “It’s exciting to see visionaries like Unilever use our technology to create better shopper experiences and more meaningful connections with its customers.”

Giant Food is a banner of grocery conglomerate Ahold Delhaize USA. Headquartered in Landover, Md., it operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia with approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the stores are 152 full-service pharmacies, 82 full-service PNC Banks and 25 Starbucks locations.