Red Awning Supermarkets


Going all the way back to 1952, Red Awning Supermarkets is a wholesale supermarket chain focused on providing the lowest prices. Through decades of partnerships and scale economies, Red Awning has outmaneuvered both local and international players in multiple countries and has established market share mainly in North America and Europe. What separates Red Awning from other supermarket giants is its obsession with the customer experience. They’ve developed communication channels such as social media and chatbots, where customers can ask anything and get a quick, effective response. On-site, staff members are drilled on how to best help customers -- whether that’s helping them navigate Red Awning’s gigantic megacenters, replenishing out-of-stock items in 10 minutes or less or recommending what brand of potato salad is best for tonight’s barbecue.


  • Retail
  • Services & Hospitality


  • Customer Experience



Red Awning’s obsession with the customer experience has always been their key differentiator in the hypercompetitive supermarket space. Their challenge was to bring this same commitment to their customers to the online era. The marketing team at Red Awning realized that competing supermarket chains had negative public reviews that were often left unanswered. If Red Awning could respond to every single public review they received across all their locations, they would be able to establish a more solid online reputation than their competitors. The problem was that responding to all feedback in a timely manner is a gargantuan task. Not only would staff need to be constantly checking all the review sites separately, appropriate responses needed to be provided and shared with other departments so that there weren’t any crossed wires.


Red Awning solved their challenge using Ombea’s Public module. After getting started in just a few minutes, the module pulled in every single public review about every single Red Awning location. Then, all reviews were displayed as tasks in an inbox-like interface. From here, Red Awning staff could begin to reply to each review individually, saving them the time of having to “chase” the reviews all over the web.

Information sharing was also smooth. For each Red Awning supermarket or megacenter, the local manager assigned users to specific tasks, making it easy to coordinate a response to a specific public review, such as when a refund needed to be handled or if there were doubts over how to word a response to a sensitive public review.

Ombea also paved the way for a more proactive, long-term customer experience strategy. The moment a negative review comes in, staff are notified and can catch customers before they leave a location, or reply right from the inbox interface. Managers and staff can choose the metrics that matter to them -- whether it’s NPS or a simple headcount of happy and sad customers -- and get notified when these metrics increase or decrease. Ombea’s algorithm has learned enough from Red Awning’s feedback data that it can recommend specific actionable tasks that would boost the shopper experience, saving Red Awning time and effort in coming up with the ideas.


From 3.8 to 4.2 out of 5 in 12 months. Because staff were catching and addressing potential customer issues in real-time, the average number of negative public reviews for Red Awning locations plummeted. And because of the speed and efficiency with which issues were dealt with, positive reviews increased. On average, this increased Red Awning’s total public review score from 3.8 to 4.2 on the most popular review sites.

Increased staff performance. Seeing the positive effects their actions were having on the customer experience, Red Awning staff were inspired to achieve more ambitious goals. And because it’s easy to see who owned a particular task, rewarding individual members for above-average performance was easier than ever before. Furthermore, the ease of setting new KPIs and notifications “gamified” the process of customer experience for staff members, which led to increased motivation overall.

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