Consumer Research Drives Sales for Grocery Store Owners
Target Audience: Grocery Stores in Bottle Deposit States
CleanTech Offer: Reverse Vending Machines for Recycling Glass, Plastic and Aluminum Bottles and Cans with $.05 Deposit
Learn how Tomra, a leading manufacturer of reverse vending machines (RVMs) used consumer market research to sell new and existing store owners RVMs.
Tomra, a leading manufacturer of reverse vending machines (RVMs) was looking to introduce a new line of RVMs to their North American market. To kick off the product launch, Tomra wanted to reach out to new prospects and existing customers (grocery, drug and big box retailers) in bottle deposit states to introduce the new and improved RVMs.
(For those of you who are unfamiliar with reverse vending machines, RVMs are the machines that accept bottles and cans in exchange for a receipt. These receipts are then exchanged for cash at the customer service counter of a store or redemption center. The total amount back is based on the deposit amount ($.05 or $.10) times the number of bottles or cans you have returned.) Grocery store owners have the choice to collect and sort cans manually or to purchase RVMs for their store. Consumers use the RVMs, but are not directly part of the purchase decision.
Steps to Achieve Goal
Tomra knew that grocery store owners did not want to make unnecessary investments in RVMs. RVMs are expensive particularly in contrast to the slim margins for grocery stores. Since RVMs are only needed in bottle deposit states, there is a limited number of retailers who would even consider buying the equipment. What they needed was a way to convince prospects that RVMs were worth buying and they needed a way to convince current customers that the new machines were worth the upgrade.
At the time, this seemed like a tall order given that many of these owners had heard the pitch many times before by Tomra and their competitors. However, a new finding changed their luck. ecoImagine Group uncovered independent research that stated "grocery stores with RVMs drove more customer foot traffic than those who accepted cans manually."
As a result, ecoImagine created an marketing blitz that focused solely on this simple message, “RVMs increase foot traffic.”
We used multiple methods to make this simple fact known in NY, CT and MA. We sent personalized email messages, post cards and letters to grocery store owners and managers. We provided sales teams with scripts so sales people had the facts when making calls. And we created a limited time promo that gave discounts for upgrading to the new RVMs or for making multiple RVM purchases, to create urgency.
ecoImagine also conducted additional market research using a third party during this time to get feedback from store owners about their satisfaction with current RVMs as well as the factors that influened their purchasing decisions.