Kroger is replacing traditional cooler doors with smart screens that feature dynamic, contextual digital advertising and product information, as well as show the cooler’s contents, in 500 of its stores around the U.S.
The rollout follows a successful three-year pilot partnership with Cooler Screens, maker of the IoT-enabled screens.
Kroger — America’s largest supermarket operator, with more than 2,800 U.S. stores across multiple retail banners — is not alone in employing the relatively new advertising platform.
The Cooler Screens network already reaches more than 90 million viewers monthly in stores across multiple retailers, and is projected to reach more than 200 million per month by early 2024, according to the company.
The digital advertising and merchandising content is provided by modules running in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform IoT Edge runtime, which also enables the display solution to communicate and manage the Edge devices contained in each cooler door. The screens use data and analytics solutions including Microsoft Power BI data visualization software, along with Azure Synapse analytics, to measure the effectiveness of digital merchandising and advertising, according to Chain Store Age.
But for retailers, advertising and brand sponsorship revenue is only part of the attraction. The smart screens also enable cost-saving operational improvements, like easier monitoring of out-of-stocks. And perhaps most important, some retail users have reported same-store sales lifts as a result of the on-door promotions and making it easier for shoppers to locate sales items.
“Like Kroger, we use consumer insights to create a triple win for consumers, brands and the retailer,” said Cooler Screens founder and CEO Arsen Avakian.
“We’re excited about this continued collaboration as it extends our vision for the future of retail media, offering brands another powerful marketing lever inside the store,” said Cara Pratt, senior vice president at Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM).
KPM was rated the top retail media network for audience and measurement capabilities in a survey of brand managers conducted this year by the Path to Purchase Institute.