The Significance of Email Marketing in the Food Retail Industry

The food-retail industry is one of the most impacted sectors in today’s rapidly evolving economy. Customers are influential and vital to the food retailer business’s success because they generate their revenue by investing in their goods or services. According to the Economic Research Service Consumer Expenditure Survey in 2019 from the United States Department of Agriculture, “households in the lowest income quintile spent an average of $4,400 on food (representing 36.0 percent of income), while households in the highest income quintile spent an average of $13,987 on food (representing 8.0 percent of income).” 

Food retailers or grocers are constantly challenged with the growing and changing demands and behaviors of their customers. Customers are increasingly engaging online and have access to various sources for information on products, sales, and savings. They also explore several food retailers or grocers to make their purchases as technology advances develop, creating a highly competitive market. 

In fact, according to the U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2018, “How Technology is Changing Grocery Shopping, from the Consumer Perspective,” 36% of shoppers search for product information online, and 43% of shoppers explore online for discounts. 

Food retailers or grocers can target these particular shoppers, expand their market size, build brand awareness, and provide product information and incentives to drive these customers to shop at their store and purchase their brand or products.

Developing digital marketing strategies such as email marketing to reach, connect, and increase customer engagement, satisfy customer needs, and gain a competitive edge against competitors is crucial for food retailers to succeed in today’s evolving market. Email marketing is a useful tool for food retailers or grocers to communicate and build relationships with customers. It is also a way to provide customers with helpful information and topics that are of interest to them.  


  • Email marketing is a cost-effective and profitable digital marketing strategy in marketing. According to the eMarketer article by Danielle Drolet about marketing emails sent by U.S. email marketers, “email had a median ROI of 122%, according to U.S. marketers polled June 2016 by the Data & Marketing Association and Demand Metric.” 

  • Email marketing is less expensive than other marketing channels that food retailers or grocers use, such as print media that includes circulars and flyers. Emails are also easily shared with others by customers.  

Increase Customer Satisfaction

  • Email marketing is an efficient way for marketers to help food retailers or grocers follow-up with customers after a purchase or service to provide customer satisfaction surveys to learn and gain feedback about their shopping experience.  

  • Customer satisfaction surveys provide customers with opportunities to voice their opinion. Surveys help food retailers gain insight into areas of focus to improve their shopping experience. 

Build Customer Loyalty and Increases Business Growth

  • Email marketing enables food retailers to connect personally with their customers and build a trusting relationship and loyal customer base. According to U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2018, “How Technology is Changing Grocery Shopping, from the Consumer Perspective,”19% of online and 11% of non-online shoppers “signed up to receive customized email or newsletters.”  

  • Marketers can utilize tools to create personalized and customized emails to customers based on their shopping behaviors, motivations towards purchases of specific products or services, sharing information about products, and offering savings or coupon rewards towards their next purchase. Personalized and customized emails create an emotional connection and a sense of value with the customer, which builds customer loyalty and leads to repeated purchases.  

Build Brand Awareness and Influence Purchase Decisions

  • Email marketing encourages customers to interact with the brand or product. Marketers use email marketing to help food retailers or grocers inform customers about the products they offer, persuade them of their benefits, and convert target shoppers into paying customers. According to the U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2018, 17% of online and 10% of non-online shoppers “signed up for newsletters via email or home address.”  

  • Newsletters draw the customer’s attention to specific products, creative ways, or tips on using a product, such as recipe ideas, explaining product benefits, and connecting the brand or product to the customer. It can also drive sales, customers, to the store, and increase website traffic.  

Email marketing is a great, cost-effective way for food retailers or grocers to communicate and build strong relationships with customers. It enables food retailers or grocers to educate and provide customers with useful information on topics that are of interest to them. It also keeps customers informed about offers, promotions, and savings. Email marketing not only connects customers to their food retailers or grocers; it keeps them coming back for more.  

Did you enjoy this post? Read about why customers aren’t coming back: the psychology of customer behavior in my last post!

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