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Social Shelf gets a spot in Giant stores

TECHNOLOGY

A three-month test run of a new marketing partnership between Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based The Giant Co. and A3 Mediaco LLC has been extended for another year in the grocery store’s locations that offer adult beverages.

By Timothy Inklebarger on Feb. 21, 2023

The shelf-tag technology, known as Social Shelf, enables shoppers to scan a QR code located on a shelf tag that directs them to a website that includes a 30- to 40-second video with more information about the product. / Photo courtesy: A3 Mediaco LLC


A three-month test run of a new marketing partnership between Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based The Giant Co. and A3 Mediaco LLC has been extended for a year in the grocery store’s locations that offer adult beverages.


The shelf-tag technology, known as Social Shelf, enables shoppers to scan a QR code located on a shelf tag that directs them to a website that includes a 30- to 40-second video with more information about the product.


Colin Heap, The Giant Company's category manager of beer & wine, said in an email response to questions that the technology will only apply to beer and wine at this time, but Giant will evaluate the possibility of expansion to other product categories at a later date.


"With so many product choices in the alcoholic beverage market, making an informed purchase decision can be a challenge," Heap said in the email. "At The Giant Company, we are always looking for ways to make shopping easier for our customers. Social Shelf is quick, easy, and provides more relevant content than traditional shelf tags or shelf talkers. Suppliers like the richer and more creative content capabilities."


Frank Gussoni, co-owner and CEO of Trooper, Pennsylvania-based A3 Mediaco, said in a press release that brands that adopt the Social Shelf technology can now offer more information to potential customers without forcing advertising on them.


“I don’t believe there is a more opportune time to speak to shoppers,” Gussoni said in the press release. “They are requesting brand information while shopping.”


Shoppers can access the information through the QR code, but the company provides additional information through their custom phone app. Gussoni said in a telephone interview that the Social Shelf app also allows users to access coupons and rebates at the register, among other services.

The service allows vendors to get their message out to customers, but it also enables them to see real-time information about those shoppers. Vendors can now see the time, date and brand of those items that are scanned, according to Gussoni. They can also learn more about the customers who use the app, such as age, gender and other information.

After an initial startup fee, Gussoni said vendors will pay a fee to Social Shelf when the technology is used. “Manufacturers are only going to pay for ads delivered,” Gussoni said in an interview. “They’re never going to pay us for something they didn’t get.”


The relationship between Giant and A3 Media started as a 90-day pilot in December 2021, which included more than 150 brands of beer and wine. Heap said Giant believes the technology is "the next step in the evolution of enhancing the customer experience, building better brand knowledge and delivering custom messaging to consumers in a very engaging way."


Gussoni told WGB that A3 Mediaco is currently working with eight other retailers but declined to name them.


UPDATE: This story was updated to include comments from Colin Heap, The Giant Company's category manager, beer & wine, and to clarify the length of the agreement between the two companies.

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