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IGA has launched a new digital marketing program that provides unique full-featured grocery websites and mobile web apps to each of over 900 IGA USA retailers operating more than 1,200 stores, giving every IGA USA retailer a website for the first time in IGA history.
Called IGALINK, the individual websites available as part of the program are easily customizable, making it possible for each IGA independent retailer to personalize the digital experience for shoppers in their local community.
“The introduction of IGALink is a big step in our ongoing process to ensure that IGA is the preferred brand for independent retailers and regional chains,” said Mark Batenic, president and CEO of IGA, INC. “Combined with the recent completion of a new label design for IGA’s exclusive brand products, new IGA assessment and customer feedback programs, and our new community and cause marketing initiatives, the IGA program has been strengthened tremendously and is poised for exciting growth.”
The IGALink websites are accessible directly through individual site URLs, or through a store locator on www.iga.com, the consumer-focused website that for the last 17 years has been shoppers’ source for information about IGA.
“IGALink is a technological breakthrough for retailer websites in the grocery industry,” said Robert Hemphill, president of Webstop, the Palm Harbor, Fla.-based website developer selected by IGA to be its partner in this initiative. “With IGALink, IGA retailers enjoy web features and capabilities that are on par with the most highly regarded, high-traffic retailer websites on the Internet today. It’s a foundation that can easily ramp up with IGA Alliance members’ digital marketing creativity.”
Through the IGALink program, every IGA USA retailer receives:
- An IGA-branded website with a content management system that allows IGA retailers to easily customize content for their stores and the communities they serve
- A fully optimized mobile web app that shares content and features with the store’s website
- Online registration tools for building a shopper database
- An interactive customer shopping list feature
- More than 6,000 searchable recipes that link to shopping lists
- Website analytics for measurable marketing results
- Access to unlimited email newsletter capability
- Access to a fully digital version of their weekly circular, interactive with shopping lists and recipes
“With the IGALink program, retailers are amplifying the visibility and impact of their stores—both in the actual communities they serve and in virtual communities of the Internet,” said Jim Walz, IGA USA VP of marketing, branding, and business development. “IGA retailers now have the ability to engage their shoppers with online content that is specific to their store and their community, meaning that IGA’s brand of personalized customer service begins before the shopper even enters the store. Add to that special features and functions that make the shoppers’ in-store shopping experience more convenient and enjoyable—and that can be used seamlessly at their computer or on their Smartphone—and you have a digital solution that will keep shoppers coming back to their local IGA.”
According to Walz, IGALink has been embraced by IGA retailers. “When we started developing IGALink, only about 20 percent of IGA USA retailers had a store website, and none had mobile web app,” Walz said. “The IGALink program has been thoroughly piloted under a variety of circumstances within IGA, and feedback from our retailers has been very favorable, especially the ease of set-up and ongoing implementation. IGA retailers with previously established websites have the option to replace their site with an IGALink site, and many of those retailers have already chosen to do so. We anticipate that those numbers will continue to grow as we add additional content areas like social media capability and couponing into the IGALink platform.”
Doug Fritsch, IGA SVP retail and business development for IGA USA, said that the IGALink program offers tremendous value for all Alliance members and prospective members as well. “IGALink was developed with input from IGA membership groups across the Alliance including IGA retailers, licensed wholesale distribution companies and select national brand manufacturers called IGA Red Oval Partners,” he said. “That input has resulted in a program that provides exciting new opportunities for collaboration, cost-reduction, and improved effectiveness for all members of the IGA Alliance. Likewise, it strengthens our brand in a way that is sure to attract new membership.”
Webstop (www.webstop.com) has specialized in the development of website, email and mobile features for the supermarket industry for over 12 years. Webstop innovations include single login integration with retailer loyalty programs, paperless digital coupons, and recipe bank of thousands recipes integrated with weekly ad sale items. The vendor has developed over 1,000 retailer websites with a full-featured mobile web app and grocery newsletters.
IGA is the world’s largest voluntary supermarket network with aggregate worldwide retail sales of more than $29 billion per year. The Alliance includes nearly 5,000 Hometown Proud Supermarkets worldwide, supported by 36 distribution centers and more than 55 major manufacturers, vendors and suppliers encompassing everything from grocery to equipment items.