product ranges, larger selection of freshly prepared food and the choice to buy smaller amounts than you’ll find in regular packaging.
GS25 “Fridge service”: brilliant concept for single-person households
The most inspirational example we found is at the GS25 convenience stores in South Korea. This chain has 1,500 stores, is open 24 hours a day and is renowned throughout Korea for its great 1+1 deals. Promotions like these are generally always successful, whatever the demographics or location. But there was still a downside: customers weren’t always too happy with these discount offers. Sure it’s a great bargain, but Koreans – especially in cities – often live in tiny homes and have a very high single-person household percentage. Well, you can see why having to buy two items isn’t necessarily the most practical solution. Fresh products have a limited best-before date and the space needed to store them is expensive. Because GS25 didn’t want to let go of this strong promotional strategy, but did want to increase the level of customer satisfaction, they came up with a brilliant solution: the virtual fridge!
Every shopper can take advantage of the ‘buy one, get one free’ offer, but doesn’t have to take all the goods home straight away. Instead, customers can use their customer card to place one of the items in the virtual refrigerator, which they can pick up later on in the month (but definitely within 30 days). Your virtual fridge is linked to the GS25 app, so you always know what’s still in ‘the fridge’.
So let’s say there’s a 1+1 offer on a kilogram of bananas, you get the first kilo during the promotional week and store the second kilo in your virtual fridge. When the first kilo is finished, just pop into the store to collect the rest. This way your food is always fresh and at a bargain price.
An additional advantage for GS25 is that it generates an enormous amount of repeat traffic, because who would leave a free kilo of bananas behind? And while you’re there, you may as well do the rest of your groceries. In South Korea, repeat traffic is vital in a convenience store market that is overflowing. GS25 takes in the third spot in South Korea, behind FamilyMart (part of Walmart) that has 7,500 stores and 7-Eleven with 3,000 convenience stores.
If you want to be relevant in retail, a ‘one size fits all’ approach will no longer do. In the long run, customers will stay clear because they do not feel understood by the retailer. It is therefore crucially important to find out more about the shopper profiles of your individual stores and to constantly make minor adjustments to align your shopping concept.