Driving Foot Traffic to Your Grocery Store

The very first step in increasing sales is getting customers through the door. The idea is simple, but profitable customer acquisition involves a lot of planning and optimization. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Not only do you have to convince customers to visit your store for the first time — you also have to ensure that what you spend to get them through your doors is less than how much they’ll spend with you… and that they keep coming back for more.

This can seem daunting right now as retailers face tremendous downward pressure on net operating margin — thanks to continued supply chain issues, higher labor costs, strained customer spending because of inflation, and revenue paid to third-party delivery services.  

Let’s break down simple ways to create a strong, profitable customer acquisition strategy for your business.


Provide a personalized experience

According to a Twilio Segment report, 60% of consumers say they are likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience, and almost half say they are less likely to make a purchase from a brand after an un-personalized experience

Shoppers expect food retailers to evolve with their needs, offering more personalized value for a seamless experience and to meet their families’ changing needs. 


Right now sophisticated retailers create customer segments and predict what type of incentive will motivate them to buy more, send out campaigns, and then measure how they performed afterwards with limited data. The problem is that top-line metrics like clicks, sign ups, or transaction volume growth fail to capture the full bottom-line picture–specifically, the upfront investment in acquiring those customers and whether their behavior changes enough to pay back the initial investment to acquire them. 

Today, we estimate that the majority of retailers actually lose money on segmented (not personalized) programming.

That’s why nearly 400 grocers—and 45,000 businesses overall—have shifted their mindset, and personalize every single shopper’s promotion on a one-on-one basis to actually move the needle on their spend. These retailers see customers visit 2.5 times more often, and their basket sizes increase by 10%.


In practice, that looks like meeting customers where they are – on their phones – and then using your own anonymized transaction logs to learn more about each customer’s buying behavior with you over the last 12 months. With that information, you can provide the dynamic, margin-bound promotions they need to get them to either buy from you for the first time, or to shift more of their grocery purchases to your store.

Bring new customers into your loyalty programming

If your goal is customer acquisition then you shouldn’t rely solely on loyalty programs to drive new customers. These types of programs are continuously targeting your loyal customer base but aren’t working to attract people who have never been to your store before. 

The nation’s top-performing retailers are using loyalty programs as effectively as possible, getting about 30% of their existing customers to sign up and about 10-15% of those customers to remain loyal. Unfortunately those programs are not reaching new customers, or the 70% of existing customers who choose not to participate.
To make your program even more effective, layer on additional (profitable) tools that actually boost your program’s reach.   

More than 30 million customers use Upside to decide where to buy their groceries. That number grows every day as big banks and other top apps—like Uber, GasBuddy, DoorDash, and Instacart—push Upside offers to their cardholders and drivers. Because these new customers are online, Upside knows where and when they are in their cars running errands. The platform provides dynamic, margin-bound promotions to incentivize a customer to change their behavior, and reroutes those customers right to your store. So you reach new customers that would not have chosen your store otherwise. 

Once those new customers are through your doors, you’re able to turn those customers into loyal customers in all the ways you know how – top-notch customer service, clean facilities, and the products customers need.  

Finding new ways to get new customers through the door – and retain them – in the most profitable way possible doesn’t have to be painful or expensive.

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In just a few months, Upside is profitably driving a ~1% sales lift to our most engaged retailer partners. And we can help you, too. With absolutely no IT integration or upgrades, staff training, or in-store signage required.  

Truly personalized experiences like shoppers have on Amazon are not just for the online world anymore. With Upside, brick and mortar grocers can use it too. The product uses the processor data you already pay for in combination with our machine learning algorithms to learn about each customer, and personalize each of their experiences so you earn more profit.  

If Upside can’t prove that the customer is new, or is buying more than they usually would, Upside does not get paid. We use a 100% performance-based business model, so we share in profit instead of taking service fees.

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