Imagine a grocery store where you can receive personal recommendations and offers the moment you step in the store, where checkout takes seconds and you can pay for groceries without ever taking out your wallet. Sound far-fetched? It’s closer than you think. Well at least that is my interpretation of the new grocery retail environment thanks to “The Nielsen Global E-commerce and the New Retail Survey” which polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries to understand how digital technologies will shape the retail landscape of the future.
Technology has fundamentally transformed the way industries such as music, books and video operate. iTunes allows consumers to cobble together personal music libraries they can carry with them wherever they go, and Amazon gives shoppers access to an extensive selection of products, user reviews and personalized recommendations based on search and purchase history. Streaming services like Netflix and devices like Apple TV allow users to access content whenever and wherever they want.
In the new grocery retail environment industry, change has been more evolutionary than revolutionary, but digital is redefining what it means to “go” shopping. Lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring. Shoppers are growing accustomed to the benefits of digital in other retail settings and are beginning to expect them in grocery as well. Savvy retailers are winning by leveraging technology to enhance the shopping experience and meet consumers’ evolving desires.
The connected commerce era has arrived, consumers are no longer shopping entirely online or offline; rather, they’re taking a blended approach, using whatever channel best suits their needs. The most successful retailers and manufacturers will be at the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds, leveraging technology to satisfy shoppers however, wherever and whenever they want to shop.
This post looks at how consumers are using technology and offers insights about how retailers and manufacturers can use flexible retailing options to improve the shopping experience and drive increased visitation and sales across channels.
Digital is here to stay, but the majority of consumers will continue to shop for the bulk of their purchases in store—even If the channels they’re using are changing. Shoppers will use whatever format best suits their needs for convenience, choice and value. Therefore, it is critical that retailers and manufacturers leverage physical and digital assets to optimize the in-store experience.
5 ways retailers can bridge the gap and succeed in the new grocery retail environment!
- Remember what drives shoppers: regardless of format, price, quality, convenience and selection are key drivers of store choice. Retailers need to show shoppers how they’re delivering these values in every interaction, no matter where it occurs.
- Consider channels holistically: Online and in-store are fundamentally different channels, with unique uses, expectations, challenges and economics. When developing a strategy, retailers need to consider the entire retail landscape and respect the differences between channels. Online and offline tactics should complement each other to drive increased engagement and sales across all outlets.
- Know your shoppers: Knowing consumers’ wants/needs is critical when developing a multi-channel strategy. As consumers demand a more personalized shopping experience, retailers should not strive to be all things to all people. To prioritize initiatives and investments, retailers and manufacturers need a deep understanding of the decisions that shoppers make along the path to purchase, the types of information they seek to inform those decisions, and where they choose to make a purchase. And they should use this knowledge to personalize and align touch-point content to meet shoppers’ unique needs.
- Recognize that change is industry-wide: The changes taking place in grocery are not just a concern for retailers, but the entire grocery industry. Manufacturers need to adapt their marketing, merchandising, distribution, and operations models for the new retail landscape. Above all, success will require collaboration between retailers and manufacturers, with each party leveraging the strengths of the other to deliver services and offerings aligned with evolving consumer expectations.
- Measure and adjust: Retailers and manufacturers should continuously monitor performance to understand how shoppers are responding to marketing touch points and ensure they’re optimizing their touch-point mix to yield the highest ROI.