Cornerstone Consulting has been serving the natural product space for more than 36 years helping small, medium and large natural product companies manage their Business Management Software and Enterprise Resource Planning solutions. From inception to completion of the project, Cornerstone provides resources, and expertise, to help natural food companies stay competitive in the dynamic retail market.
In 2022, Cornerstone has announced the use of their ELI Code Technology with United Natural Foods, North America’s premier grocery wholesaler, as well as Merryfield’s new “Learn and Earn” program. ELI Code Technology is part of Cornerstone’s Smart Shelf Tag program which contains ELI QR code, an enhanced version of a QR code that provides savvy retail shoppers with rich digital and mobile content without requiring an app.
This innovative solution leverages the latest technology, and trends in the retail space, to help optimize grocery retail businesses as well as educate shoppers looking for bargain opportunities during an economy riddled with inflation and recession.
In a post-pandemic marketplace, retail is changing as consumers demand product transparency and access to additional information and insights about brands. UNFI’s agreement with Cornerstone will implement Smart Shelf Tags in stores to create a touchpoint between suppliers and consumers which will enhance the shopping experience with targeted content.
Furthermore, Smart Shelf Tags help grocery stores build trust and loyalty with consumers. While ELI QR Codes used on Smart Shelf Tags look like regular QR codes, they have more benefits. ELI QR Codes are more secure providing a scannable code that houses back-end content which may include promotional offers, nutrition information, brand stories and other supporting content from suppliers. Content is automatically updated on tags relieving retailers from having to source, manage and update the content on codes.
To date, Cornerstone has built more than 120,000 ELI QR codes which encompass household consumer packaged goods brands, as well as emerging brands on grocery shelves.
Research has shown that consumers value additional information when making purchasing decisions, as transparency builds trust. This is especially true for product categories such as vitamins, wine and spirits and natural and organic produce.
“Retail is changing and we need to change with it,” says David Williams, Cornerstone’s executive vice president of business development. “Retailers and brands need to work together to engage, and educate, their shoppers and our smart shelf tags provide this unique opportunity, helping with decision-making at a key point of purchase in the store.”
In December 2022, Cornerstone announced a partnership with Merryfield, a trusted authority, consumer app, customer activation and insights solutions partner for brands and retailers for the “Learn & Earn” program.
Starting in 2023, Cornerstone’s ELI QR Cordes will be used in the “Learn & Earn” program to reveal product information, and educational codes, when scanned with the smartphone camera. Furthermore, shoppers will have access to exclusive incentives, and savings, through the Merryfield app, with participating products.
Merryfield’s program will give retailers an unprecedented deep dive and insights into consumer behavior because of the high engagement of Merryfield’s users on the app. This will help CPG with marketing strategies, and brand promotions, to stand out on the shelf in a crowded marketplace.
“Data clearly shows that products merchandised with Smart Shelf Tags outperform their respective categories by more than 3X! Enhancing Smart Shelf Tags with digital incentives, and rewards, should further accelerate conversion at-shelf for participating brands and retailers,” Williams says.
Merryfield’s “Learn & Earn” program serves as an example of another innovative way Cornerstone’s technology is pioneering the way consumers shop, benefit from promotions and incentives and digest product information for an enhanced shopping experience. As the retail landscape is changing, consumers are becoming more sophisticated and Tampa-based companies like Cornerstone are providing forward-looking solutions to meet their demands.