Upside Helps Independents Stay Competitive

Aug 9, 2022

Rising gas prices and grocery inflation are pushing customers to seek cash back in any way possible. Now Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) stores can give shoppers what they want and need thanks to Red Oval partner Upside, who makes it easy for shoppers to get cash back through their app, and easy for retailers to attract shoppers to their stores.

Upside (formerly known as GetUpside) is an online marketplace that drives unexpected profit to grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations by bringing in new customers and increasing the wallet shares from your current customers, whether they are infrequent or loyal. It's especially effective at bringing in new shoppers.

How It Works

How does it work? A shopper downloads the app and creates an account. The next time they need to go grocery shopping, they open the app to see what grocery store offers cash back. They will "claim" the offer at your store and head over to shop. Depending on the store, they will either check in via the app or snap a picture of their receipt after shopping. Then Upside sends the money to the shopper's account!

Retailers benefit by seeing new shoppers with bigger baskets. Upside's algorithm knows the average basket size for each shopper, and promotes your store to qualified shoppers. With the cash back offer acting as a shopper incentive to spend more in your store, Upside can predict how much bigger their basket will be compared to their average. 

A Unique App & Growing Business

Upside is in a unique position of being the only company of its kind. “Think more specifically for grocery – a big differentiator is that we partner directly with the retailers. That way, we can allow small independents to really gain from being able to compete with this personalized offer space. A lot of competitors that we usually get compared to actually partner directly with the brands,” Upside's Business Development Director Alyssa Ziegler said in a video interview with IGA's VP of Business Partnerships Heidi Huff.

Watch IGA's Heidi Huff speak with Upside's Alyssa Ziegler about the benefits Upside brings to independent grocers.

Upside is continually experiencing rapid growth, and while they started off as a fuel rewards program, they have now expanded into restaurants and retail grocery. Many of their users are adding grocery stores to their reward claims.

“The need for our product has never been greater,” Ziegler said. “Consumers need more spending power and retailers need more profit. There's huge downward pressure on the retailer's net operating margin and the strained customer spending because of inflation, supply chain issues, higher labor costs, and revenue paid to third-party delivery services.”

Retailer Benefits

IGA retailers are already seeing positive results with Upside through specific increases in the following metrics:

  • 23% of the customers are new (on average)
  • 10% increase in basket size from Upside users
  • 1.4x customer visits
  • 1.6x customer spend

Upside does not replace loyalty programs and Ziegler said about 20% of their new customers are joining the retailer loyalty programs in addition to using the Upside app.

Anyone can join Upside, and it's very hands-off, meaning there is no need for IT or operational integration. “The program is kind of a set-it-and-let-it-run type of program, which we find amazing for independents of the world who are already running around like crazy doing a million different things,” Ziegler said.

Watch the above video for more information on the Upside program and how it can benefit your store and shoppers. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Upside increases traffic and basket size
  • Upside brings in more wallet share from a retailer’s most loyal customers. When looking at Upside retailers across the board, they are usually increasing the most loyal shopper spend by 62%
  • Upside does not replace a retailer’s loyalty program; it complements it
  • Upside measures to prove that it is bringing incremental profit on each transaction. And if Upside can't prove it, the retailer does not pay
  • A retailer can setup Upside in 30 minutes or less

Click here to watch a testimonial from Jeff Maurer, owner of Maurer's Market IGA.

For next steps and to learn more, contact Alyssa Ziegler or Heidi Huff.

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