Loblaw takes e-flyers into brave new world

The grocery retailer ushers flagship PC.ca into the Web 2.0 world and redesigns its banner sites to include customizable flyers hyper-targeted to customers - and new ad opps for national brands.

Just in time for the holiday season, Brampton, ON-based Loblaw Companies has redesigned its stable of websites, featuring an enhanced CRM platform for its e-newsletters and a more interactive experience for fans of President’s Choice products.

The spruced-up banner sites – including Loblaws.ca, Zehrs.ca and Fortinos.ca – are rolling out this week, following the debut of the new President’s Choice site last week. PC.ca is the centrepiece of the web overhaul, handled by T4G’s Halifax and Toronto offices, featuring over 700 recipes, a new rate-and-review functionality, articles, video and a more interactive experience with the retailer’s CRM program, ‘PC Insider.’

While the President’s Choice site will remain ad-free, Loblaw will be offering ad, sponsorship and integration opportunities on the banner sites in 2010, Craig Hutchison, SVP marketing, Loblaw Companies, told MiC. Collectively, the sites have approximately one million current subscribers, and the company is hoping to double or triple that number. The PC.ca URL is integrated into the company’s current holiday-themed media campaign, and in late December or early 2010, Loblaw Companies will embark on a media campaign – handled in-house – to promote all of the new sites.

The most significant upgrade to the banner sites is the creation of a highly customizable e-flyer, Hutchison said. Customers are asked for their province, city and store before entering the site, and are then able to choose from a detailed menu of preferences to customize their flyers to their lifestyle. As an example, Hutchison said, if you’re a vegetarian condo dweller with no pets, then you can receive an e-flyer that omits pet food, lawn products and meats. The banner sites have been moved to the same platform as PC.ca, to allow these preferences to be stored and accessible across all Loblaw sites, so customers don’t have to enter the same information twice.

‘Our goal is to be a world-class branded platform with world-class personalization and information that’s relevant to each person,’ Hutchison said. ‘The more that people tell us, the more that we’ll be able to customize the flyers to them.’