Shopper education outfit Looma has introduced its in-store video storytelling program to the Texas grocery landscape with the recent launch of beer and wine programs in approximately 120 H-E-B stores statewide.
The platform, known simply as Loop, shares a blend of personal stories and educational information — think tasting notes or pairing suggestions — through a network of smart tablets in beer and wine departments with the goal of informing purchasing decisions and connecting shoppers to the people behind their products.
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The expansion follows Looma’s 2021 launch in Midwest-based Schnuck Markets and affirms a growing desire from leading grocery chains to evolve and humanize the traditional shopping experience— in this case cultivating connection and transparency during a season in which retailers have been hamstrung in their ability to encourage real human interaction thanks to direct and knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loop videos are unique in their authentic intent to connect and educate rather than overtly advertise, and Looma is differentiated from other point-of-decision content providers by its strict adherence to the presence of a “real, human protagonist,” and “authentic, unscripted narratives”. They share the backstories behind many local and regional brands, complemented by information (nutrition, tasting profiles, sustainable practice certifications) about specific products.
As e-commerce continues to focus on convenience, many brick-and-mortar retailers are re-orienting some of their long-standing value propositions, focusing the in-store experience on discovery, education, and a sense of connection.
Looma’s partnership with H-E-B represents a new geography for the Durham-based startup, which has more than a thousand active tablets across their retail programs, including Schnuck Markets in the Midwest and Carolinas-based retailers Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods.
“Working with H-E-B has been an immense privilege,” said Cole Johnson, Looma’s Founder and CEO. “The care and attention to detail with which they evaluated our partnership from day one has affirmed Loop’s effectiveness and product-market fit; while lending us industry-leading counsel as we’ve sought to refine and evolve our offering.”
Looma expects to continue its growth in the year ahead, with pilots in progress and scheduled in both new and existing retail partners, within and beyond the adult beverage category.
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