Sainsbury’s is using machine learning to predict and stock the products its customers will want to buy, while the Nectar customer loyalty scheme that it owns has this week launched a new app and website that promises its shoppers more relevant and personalised offers.
Sainsbury’s is using predictive analytics and machine learning to detect new grocery trends as they hapen. The retailer has worked with Accenture and Google Cloud in order to make sure it’s up to date on the latest food trends. Together they have built machine learning solutions on the Google Cloud Platform to show what customers want and the trends that are influencing their eating habits. “The food industry and the way that customers shop is rapidly changing. From foodie hashtags on Instagram to the latest cooking fads, customers want to stay connected to the latest trends and Sainsbury’s is empowering them to do that,” said Alan Coad, managing director, UKI at Google Cloud in a blog. He said the solution used cloud-based analytics to clean and classify data from both structured and unstructured sources. Users can then navigate through filters and categories to learn more about how shoppers want to buy.
Sainsbury’s has then built predictive analytics models to spot trends and adjust the products that are stocked accordingly.
Phil Jordan, group CIO at Sainsbury’s, said: “The grocery market continues to change rapidly. We know our customers want high quality at great value and that finding innovative and distinctive products is increasingly important to them. With the help of Google Cloud Platform, we are generating new insights into how the world eats and lives, to help us stay ahead of market trends and provide an even better shopping experience for our customers.”
Adrian Bertschinger, managing director for retail at Accenture, said: “The food sector is experiencing significant, rapid disruption, and this new, cloud-based insights platform will help Sainsbury’s identify trends much earlier and adapt their product assortment in a faster, more informed way, all for the benefit of customers.”
A new Nectar app and website launched this week means shoppers can now use a fully digitised experience when they buy from Sainsbury’s – or other Nectar partner retailers. The app and website will enable them to set up a loyalty account, use a digital card from their phone to collect points on goods from groceries to entertainment and travel. They’re promised unique offers via the Nectar app on their phone both from Sainsbury’s and from almost 400 Nectar partners - with personalised rewards including money off shopping, travel, days out and cinema tickets.
James Moir, managing director of Nectar, said: “During trials in Wales and the Isle of Wight we listened to what our customers wanted and how they like to receive offers in an increasingly digitised world. This led us to a change in direction for the Nectar scheme, enabling our customers to have a much more personalised experience with offers that are completely unique to them."
However, shoppers will still be able to use their physical Nectar card in store if they prefer, with existing points to be saved on the Nectar app for rewards.
Nectar has been operating for 17 years, and was bought by Sainsbury’s in February 2018. It has more than 18m users.
Image courtesy of Sainsbury’s