Webinar, Grocery, Digital Transformation

How Super Indo transformed its customer journey

Published on 6 October 2020

A Plexure designed mobile app has invigorated this grocery client’s member base with widespread benefits for both the brand and its’ customers.

In this fireside chat, we hear from Super Indo’s CEO/Brand President, Johan Boeijenga and GM Marketing & Ecommerce, Dewi Miranda, a few months on from the launch of the My Super Indo app.

A synopsis of the interview is below. You can find the full recording here.

Q. What were the challenges you wanted to overcome when you began this journey?

Johan Boeijenga, CEO/Brand President, Super Indo:

We have a strategy of growth, beside that we want to win on price and service, anywhere, anytime, so that means not only with our stores but also with our digital applications. We have an omni-channel approach in the way we want to target our customers but also in the way we want to serve our customers with different demands during the week, month and year. So in that way we believe in personalization, we are a high/low player and that means we are promo driven, we are not EDLP (every day low price), so we are promo oriented and we have to go from mass to segment to personalization and we really believe that with the application the loyalty program the My Super Indo App, that we have developed together with Plexure with the usage of their system, with their skills and experience we believe that we can change the world over here.

It’s about best talent to get the right people in the organization and especially when we move more in digital and technology other skills will be asked of our people, and it’s about health and sustainability so these are the growth drivers we defined last year.

We have to go online and online does not only mean online in the way of e-commerce but online to reach our customers, how to be connected to them in a personalized way to become part of their heart. For us it’s really crucial to know our customers much, much better, not only us but also to help our suppliers to know our customers better that they can also support us in the total chain so to serve them better at the end with personalized offers, to differentiate from the competition.

We searched for a partner and we were really pleased with your people because at the end I think everything we do, whatever we touch if it’s technology, digital at the end if there’s a kind of touch between people, especially in retail everything is related to people, it’s a people oriented business. I’ve been searching for a data management platform that can help us to have this kind of personalized engine to create this content and then with system integration, because it cannot stand alone, it has to be connected to everything we do.

We saw a lot of parties really strong in the backend or sometimes strong at the front end but not in this combination, and that’s what we needed. We were searching for a long-term partnership and not for a one-time hit, so in that way we were really pleased until now with what we have seen in the 3 months operating the system but also the long journey in front because I think you can only launch well when you have done your preparation. From the first meeting we found a very tight bond culturally and I think your right, at the end of the day it’s about people working with people. Great people do great things together.

One of the questions on a lot of people’s minds at the moment is the impact of COVID-19 and I know that we started this journey prior to COVID so it wasn’t the catalyst for this digital transformation, but I want to compliment Dewi and her team because we had a lot of reasons and we discussed when Covid hit us to maybe postpone for awhile because we could not launch it in the way we thought we would. We really believed that even in COVID time maybe it was even more valuable to launch it and not to wait because the world continues and get in touch with our customers in a different way. So, we looked up the pros and cons and we said no we go, and we did it in a different way.

Dewi Miranda, GM Marketing & Communications, Super Indo:

This Corona virus forces millions of Indonesians to do almost everything online, working school and all the social activities, the digital transformation in Indonesia happened maybe 2 years ago, but this pandemic just accelerates the transformation.

The report from the Mobile Marketing Association shows that 70% of Indonesian customers have tried at least one new digital service during the pandemic. This new normal has changed many aspects of our life including shopping behavior. We have strict protocols in our stores so we are happy to see that customers are still coming into our stores so we don’t see significant changes in that way, of course it does change the way they do the payment because now the payment method is more to cashless, they are using more e-wallets and it changes the way we communicate and how we engage to the customers. We usually still distribute brochures but of course in some areas the distribution is prohibited so we need to reach our customers via digital more than ever.

During the launch we planned to have a very heavy acquisition in-store but we should forget that, it’s not possible because people are keeping their distance so we changed that plan.  With the support of influencers, so many influencers in our social media come from different backgrounds so we have a chef, we have nutritionists, we have teachers, and housewives but they are popular so these communities help us break the news of the app launch. So we learned to unlearn, and we get used to the digital transformation and we are grateful to tap into opportunities from the customers point of view.

This application helped us to understand our market segmentation like what Johan said, whether it’s valid or not, because who they are before COVID and who they are today may be different. We see in the stores, and we also see in our data from Studio Analytics, there are more males now shopping our stores, maybe it’s for safety reasons, they ask the housewife to stay home and the husbands go shopping. This application also helps us to provide better offers so what is first to buy and what we can buy later, so maybe the definition of traffic generating items may be different now. It used to be rice and noodles, that is a staple for Indonesians but now-days it becomes milk, vitamins and sanitizers, we cannot live without it today, it has become the new staples.

This app also provides data for us to see how customers have spent their money differently, their priorities have shifted, our eating is important but we see also that snacking is going up maybe because they stay at home more they need to snack, or their kids stay at home longer. We can also see different price sensitivities in different categories we can check it easily and fast now with the data from the app, so with all the insights we gain from the app we can have better prediction and we can prepare and create better offers for the customers.

Q. What was it like for you in terms of the process and the challenges you saw?

Dewi Miranda, GM Marketing & Communications, Super Indo:

We live in different time zones, it’s morning here and afternoon there, but I believe we have tackled that part.

I think the flagship team has excellent capabilities in technology, understanding the customers journey and also project management, but as Johan has pinpointed you have good capabilities not only in the backend but also the frontend, and how you bring these two together.

Plexure has been very accommodating and also dedicated to assist Super Indo especially in the most challenging part, system integration, and it’s very important for the tech guys to understand the business objectives and also for the business person, for the finance person and our design team, to understand how the system works. I am really grateful that the Plexure team has shown a great job in bridging those different points of view and those different disciplines, I think this is a Plexure strength and one of the keys to success for this project. It’s never easy integrating into existing technology…especially when we’re talking about Point of Sale and CRM systems so it’s great that we’re able to sort of overcome those challenges and quite quickly as well.

Q. What were your expectations going into the project, relative to where they are now?

Johan Boeijenga, CEO/Brand President, Super Indo:

We are now 3 months in, but worked for a month in preparation, I think that’s crucial. I say preparation is key that we understand from different angles the whole process. Not only the marketing side but also the IT related people at both sides, but also all the other departments at our organisation we had to align. It’s not a marketing game, it’s a strategical subject to move forward so everyone has to be committed to make a success out of it. It means a lot for our buying and merchandising department which kind of offers they can bring in place, what is the momentum for offers.

This Country has so many challenges in the past that they will overcome COVID then we will grow fast again. But with this application we get more and more insight into what really works and what doesn’t work so we can trial and error it’s not that we already know exactly how everything works, it’s also trial and error, it’s a journey. We are extremely positive about everything but we still have to prove the future and that’s what we have to do and will do, but we have to understand our customers.

In the 3 months since launch we made some targets of the amount of people we want to recruit and I can tell you that in 2 months we already reached this target.

People did not move away, customers did not move away, we see that they downloaded it but still kept it in their wallet, and that’s crucial for us. It’s added value for them we see that the contribution to sales is reached already, the percentage that we targeted, so in 2 months it feels that we are on the right track.

In terms of member basket, we see from around the world that people do not want to shop that frequently anymore, they want to do one time shopping more than ever, so we saw baskets are increasing but what we see in the past 3 months is also with the people that have downloaded the My Super Indo app let’s call them our family, and we have friends that haven’t downloaded it yet, but the family have already downloaded it and their basket is even higher at this moment than the average customer basket so all of our signs are on green to move ahead.

We are proud about what we have achieved with Plexure. It’s about the partnership, you can’t do it alone. We are starting to learn much more about our customers, what kind of changes in trip and spending is taking place, we have to understand better about campaign priorities, how we can use them, how we can leverage them, and how we can reward them, or give suppliers more insight on how they can be part of this journey to change customer behavior.

We are still 3 months to go to close this year but this will stay forever. We have caught much more people on Facebook and Instagram which are also channels to be used to be in touch with our customers, so it has additional benefits to be connected with customers.

Dewi Miranda, GM Marketing & Communications, Super Indo:

I think the way we monitor how this application works for us is we divide into 3 areas. The growth, we want to recruit as many members as possible we have almost 2 million shoppers now shopping with us and we still have a way to go there, but we have had very good results but we keep on monitoring the growth week after week. We can actually see it in the platform in Plexure Studio Analytics anytime in the day so we can see the growth today compared to last week, or yesterday for the past 3 months.

The second thing is engagement, we can also see it from Studio Analytics. We can see how many people keep following the app and whether they act, we are happy to see that more than 60% today go into store after seeing the app and use it, it’s been consistent for the past 3 months and we hope we can maintain that.

The last one is the monetization with the data we have giving us learnings that is useful and valuable not just for Super Indo but also for our suppliers for the brands so they can use it to perform better in our stores. So, it’s valuable for everyone.

Q. Johan you mentioned that you were sharing data with suppliers this early on, is that something you intend to do?

Johan Boeijenga, CEO/Brand President, Super Indo:

Yes we had a suppliers meeting in February a couple of months before we launched and were quite open and transparent with suppliers. There were pros and cons because it will be in the market but we thought we have to take it from our own strength, it’s not easy to copy, that way we will get them onside.

It’s a journey, also in training the suppliers what the benefits could be. We really want to use the insights to add value for our customers, because at the end of the day we are here for our customers and not anybody else.

Q. What’s next for Super Indo’s customer engagement strategy?

Johan Boeijenga, CEO/Brand President, Super Indo:

This is the start of our omni-channel approach to connect with our customers. We had a discussion over the past 2 years that we had to start with e-commerce. We are with a small partner over here in Indonesia with some e-commerce activities but how we want to make this really well arranged in the future, we’re not there yet. We thought we would start with loyalty, to create a kind of emotional bond with our customers. We want to move to personalization so from mass to segmented to personalized.

We know we have to crawl, walk, run and that’s what we have to do but we will give ourselves time to grow. We want to create this intelligence from data because we are not there yet, and it’s still really the start of the journey.

We want to fulfil our promise of eat well, save time and live better. We want to create a seamless journey with another application we have just launched so it can be integrated into the whole picture and that will be our journey in the coming years.

Our strategy is growth so we will continue to open stores, I may be an old fashioned retailer but I believe in it, I believe in bricks and mortar in the future. In a huge Country, already 130 million in Jakarta we have space to grow and that’s what we will do. Particularly using yourselves and these digital channels to augment that experience we believe makes it really strong.

Dewi Miranda, GM Marketing & Communications, Super Indo:

I see it excites our internal customers and associates who are happy they have something unique to offer the customers. The application is easy, smart and fun to use.

We have had good conversations on social media, they keep asking or are curious how to download it, we see it brings 50% of new followers during the first week of the app launch. So the application brings our brand closer to our customers and interact with them daily.

It has changed the footprint in stores because we have this specials rack for the members that they don’t miss.

We want the customers to become addicted to what’s next, how much can I save, what can I cook for breakfast, will I be the winner of the free shopping.

It’s essential for us to keep the brands in the customers heart and mind and I think this app serves that purpose.

Johan Boeijenga, CEO/Brand President, Super Indo:

…I am incredibly proud of my people over here in Indonesia, their dedication and commitment to make this happen I know how much work it took, but also in the Partnership that we have created with Plexure. I am an ambassador at this moment Craig.

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