online networking for small supermarkets. Using literature on the subject of networking and supermarkets the author of this paper presents an argument in favor of forming a supermarket group of network ability.
During the past few years, focus seems to have moved away from small business and moved toward large conglomerate organizations instead. One example of this can be found in small supermarkets. Family owned supermarkets were at one time a staple in America. Family owned supermarkets were close to the house, the clerks and management knew the names of one's children and remembered what one's favorite type of cheese and laundry detergent was. As larger supermarkets continued to build stores nationwide the small family owned stores found themselves unable to compete with convenience. In addition financial considerations began to appear. The small individually owned supermarkets were unable to purchase stock in the large quantities that garnered large discounts. The large supermarkets were able to do this and they began to pass those savings on to the consumer. In a fashion that would make a tear jerker movie the small supermarkets began to lose customers to the large cold competitors. The technological boom of the past few decades however, may prove to be the loop hole that the small family owed supermarkets need.
Technological advances have opened doors that were never before dreamed possible. Today, with the click of a mouse one can plan and purchase travel, manage stocks, chat with others around the world and shop from the comfort of their home. The ability to click on a web site and view everything a store has to offer has opened new avenues for all businesses including small family owned supermarkets. The ability to go online has provided an opportunity to band together and form a larger partnership. Small family owned supermarkets that consider joining with others to form an ecommerce network may find themselves in a position to compete with the large competitors for the first time in years.
There are many positive aspects to forming a network and providing an online web site for small family owned supermarkets. One of the plusses is the ability to purchase products in large quantities and being able to obtain discounts for buying in bulk (Catalina Marketing Corporation And Coinstar Inc. Announce Partnership To Distribute Online Coupons. PR Newswire; 8/3/1998).
There are also advantages when it comes to sharing marketing cost and the ability to reach a larger consumer base. The marketing with a network online can include the provision of coupons for discounts or services to those who print them out is one way to keep the customers coming into the smaller stores. One such program uses coupons to try and get new customers as well (Catalina Marketing Corporation And Coinstar Inc. Announce Partnership To Distribute Online Coupons. PR Newswire; 8/3/1998).
The pilot program, which begins in September in Columbus, Ohio, will enable Coinstar customers who process a minimum of $10 in loose change to receive ValuPage coupons through Coinstar's new Coins Plus program. The ValuPage offers consumers savings of more than $40 on their next shopping order, which delivers additional value to Coinstar users. A second market featuring the new program is expected to be added later this year. We are delighted to partner with the premier company in the supermarket coupon distribution business as part of our new Coins Plus initiative," said Jens Molbak, CEO of Coinstar Inc. (Catalina Marketing Corporation And Coinstar Inc. Announce Partnership To Distribute Online Coupons. PR Newswire; 8/3/1998). "At the store level, consumers will benefit from having more choices and more value when they use our machines. On a broader level, we are pleased that Catalina Marketing understands the distribution value of our nationwide network of machines located in high traffic areas of supermarkets (Catalina Marketing Corporation And Coinstar Inc. Announce Partnership To Distribute Online Coupons. PR Newswire; 8/3/1998)."
The ValuePage idea is one that can be tapped into once the network is formed and the web sites are designed.
Without a network a website would still have the problem of not being able to offer large discounts.
ValuPage, which is currently distributed via the World Wide Web by SuperMarkets Online, offers consumers discounts on their next…