Oliver’s Market: Elevating the Shopper Experience and Driving Double-Digit Sales with Data-Driven Grocery Buying

June 24, 2021
by SPINS Marketing

A Local Staple in Sonoma County

Since Oliver’s Market launched in 1988, the local independent, innovative retail operator has established itself as a pioneerThe Sonoma-based retailer was of one the first stores to pioneer the crossover50:50 natural grocery model, offering a blend of conventional and natural products. Oliver’s Market reinforces the value of shopping local and working with local manufacturers and suppliers to get their products in their stores and stimulate the local economy. 

Grocery Buyer with an Instinct for Data

Lawrence Jacobs started working with Oliver’s Market in 1998 and gained experience moving between various roles within the stores, growing into front end lead and managerial positions. After gaining experience throughout the store, he channeled his instinct for understanding and correlating data that he gained through his academic work and eventually took his current position as a strategic Grocery Buyer.  

“It’s empowered me to do my job without relying on so many other people getting to what I need and having more options of what I need, or I didn’t even know I needed at the time.” 

Lawrence Jacobs
Conventional Grocery Buyer


Making Quick, Effective Decisions

Oliver’s Market sets itself apart from traditional stores by offering a large food service component with mostly in-house operations. The benefit of having in-store food service is that it attracts more customers who see Oliver’s Market as a destination beyond a typical grocer. It also adds an additional layer of metrics that Jacobs and his team need to track to keep the entire store experience running smoothly for customers and themselves.  

The team already uses SPINS data to make decisions at the central store level, where UPCs are the standard.  

“SPINS has been a real integral part by having access to useable data that can be sliced, diced, grouped in a variety of different ways quickly” 

The deli provides a unique space as UPC’s are not standard throughout the entire department that is often a more guesswork process to managing the business. Jacobs was tasked with finding a data-based solution to increase the efficiency and profitability of the deli.


Using Data for Real Decisions in Real Time

First, the Oliver’s Market team turned to SPINS because their existing partnership had previously improved relevance and equity amongst all four stores in product selection. Jacobs wanted to replicate that success with the deli and could leverage SPINS for the UPC’ed areas of the deli. He  knew SPINS offers access to data on the spot—the moment it’s neededallowing him and the team to make “real decisions in real-time. 

The SPINS team trained Oliver’s Market to use the SATORI business intelligence platform because provides it an efficient process to look at the market, store, category, and product attribute data. Rather than relying on others and “going through 20 additional steps to get what was needed for business planning,” Jacobs and his team could save time and get the information they needed on the spot in easy in an easy-to-use platform.


Double-Digit Department Growth and an Elevated Shopper Experience

Lawrence took on the role of point person and advisor who brought the SPINS solutions to his team, so they could make strategic decisions that ensured they continue to provide a product selection that customers have never seen before—all while remaining committed to local and elevating the in-store experience. SPINS produce attribution and unique market universe enabled Olivers to quickly identify products that fit their customer needs. 

As a result, Lawrence and the team are showing double-digit growth in his department since becoming a SPINS partner, keeping up with the growth in their channel 

“Knowing the outcomes we are looking for based on SPINS reporting for other departments, we are now able to start fixing our internal data to help get better results,” says Jacobs.  

The Future for Oliver’s Market

Oliver’s Market continues to work with local vendors to provide a selection of products that have customers interested to try something new and different, and offering fit-friendly meal options that meet consumer lifestyles. With the help of SPINS data, the Oliver’s Market team is focused on growth and providing personalized experiences that align with the shopper’s expectations in the quickly changing grocery landscape