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The Vitamin Shoppe Brings Data-Driven Product Sampling To Innovation Stores Featured

  • Written by  Glenn Taylor
The Vitamin Shoppe Brings Data-Driven Product Sampling To Innovation Stores

As part of The Vitamin Shoppe’s launch of its Innovation stores, the retailer has sought to reach one of its primary goals: to help “demystify” the wellness space and re-establish the direction of its brick-and-mortar footprint. In addition to incorporating on-demand digital product guides and access to an “Only Me” personalized supplement service, The Vitamin Shoppe has implemented an interactive digital kiosk from Vengo designed to engage consumers and trial new products, enabling the retailer to offer an in-store product sampling option.

“Vengo sampling is one more element of our mission to provide personalized education and guidance to our consumers, while also providing us the opportunity to incubate new brands and be first-to-market with innovative products,” said Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.

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Following the initial deployment at its Edgewater, N.J. store, The Vitamin Shoppe plans to install Vengo interactive digital kiosks in at least 11 stores by the end of 2019. The kiosks measure two square feet and include a 21.5-inch HD touchscreen, making the device compact enough to place on any wall in a retail store, office building, campus or restaurant. Through the interactive vending machines, third-party brands can display promotional content for specific products or include their own products in the machine. By doubling as an advertisement network, Vengo gives its clients a chance to recapture customer attention by delivering promotional videos and other digital out-of-home (OOH) media.

Through a cloud-based dashboard, The Vitamin Shoppe can track customer engagement and other store-related KPIs, and access the name, location, purchase pattern and detailed demographic information of each consumer. The vending machine experience adjusts based on this data, and it is designed to provide each customer with a unique experience. Upon collecting consumer data, Vengo can help The Vitamin Shoppe conduct consumer assessments, offer event sign-ups and even retarget prime “conversion candidates” immediately via email or text.

“The Vengo solution provides a convenient, interactive experience that provides sampling, education and data collection in a highly engaging and efficient way,” said Leite. “Innovation is a key pillar of our reinvention strategy and that includes offering customers new ways to learn about, and trial, different brands and products. We believe this is particularly important in the health and wellness space, where there is constant newness around product, ingredients and formulations.”

To date, BodyTech Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) have been the most requested sample within the Vengo machines, according to Leite. This is an important win for both the retailer and Vengo, as BodyTech is one of The Vitamin Shoppe’s private brands.

“This sampling interest is a testament to the brand’s growth and increasing resonance with sports nutrition customers,” Leite said.

Working with strategic partners Destini, a product locator and brand activation platform, and SPINS, a provider of wellness-focused data and technology, Vengo is expanding into traditional retail and grocery outlets, enabling retail clients to better understand consumer preferences and purchasing patterns. Vengo already has deployed 1,400+ kiosks across U.S. retailers, restaurants, hotels, colleges, gyms and transportation hubs.

Vengo Kiosks Will Operate In Newly Opened Innovation Stores

Beyond the New Jersey location, The Vitamin Shoppe plans to open six new Innovation stores over the next year, which will include many of the technology, service and design features of the first Innovation store, including the Vengo sampling stations. Additionally, the retailer plans to add Vengo to six of its Super Supplements banner stores.

“We are in the early stages of analyzing the Vengo data,” Leite said. "Email capture is a key focus and it allows us to build communication and education with customers who are interested in certain brands, categories or products. This allows us to provide expertise to interested consumers and further establishes The Vitamin Shoppe as a place of trusted guidance.”

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