Can you think back to the last time you went grocery shopping? The traditional way that is. Yes, you heard that right. Going to the grocery store is quickly becoming a thing of the past, or dare I say old school. After working in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry for over two decades, I have seen little to no change in the way that consumers purchase groceries. With 41 million Americans shopping for groceries on Saturdays, the pattern of weekend runs to the local grocery store are a staple in modern society.
However, with the rapid evolution of technology and the onset of ever-changing lifestyle demands, grocery stores (and other retailers) are going back to the drawing board to create a streamlined shopping experience.
This revolution starts with a few key considerations about today’s grocery shopper. First, it is important to understand that consumers are always connected and mobile, which makes them starved for time. Families are eating together less and demanding on-the-go solutions.
Perimeter shopping is on the rise for supermarkets, mass merchandisers, and convenience stores as well. That is to say that most consumers won’t take the time to go up and down every aisle (except in Costco). All these consumer demands are transforming the value proposition for retailers.
Naturally, convenience is the key to addressing the modern consumer’s most pressing needs. However, the challenge comes with understanding what your customer defines as convenient. Whether it’s about saving time or the location and proximity, the definition is unique to each customer’s journey.
Whether the consumer is a Millennial, Shopper Mom, Single Parent, or Empty Nester, the desire for a high quality, fast experience is paramount. One of the latest trends in the grocery industry is “click to order.” Consumers can drive up while their groceries are delivered to their cars or their homes.
Regardless of the screen size, this message is critical. The digital world must partner with its brick and mortar counterpart to be a catalyst in shaping the consumer experience. Enter Data-Driven Digital Signage, Menu Boards, WayFinders, Kiosks, Beacons, and everything else you saw in Minority Report.
As retailers start to leverage the unbridled power of digital, they continue to balance these needs:
- Grow Profitable Sales
- Build/Enhance Shopper Loyalty
- Provide Unique Differentiating Experiences
- Balancing Operational & Executional Efficiencies
A good digital partner will deliver bespoken solutions unique to individual retailers based on where those customers are in a digital life cycle.
There are a few basics to consider when converting from static to digital content. Digital content requires support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which would require outsourcing or increased internal resources. Enhanced analytics are necessary for Dayparting, which requires finding what time of day is best suited to advertise to your clients using a combination of demography and audience analytics.
If you’re ready for a more advanced strategy, then it’s important to consider optimizing for sustainability that leads to growth. Data and insights will ultimately inform the use of dynamic content, so this will propel the integration with other systems (e.g., Order Confirmation, POS, Inventory Management System). Designing the intersection of digital journeys for consumers based on this data will balance return on investment with return on experience.
Key Questions When Selecting a Digital Partner:
- Do they understand/want to understand your business?
- Will they bring new insights, a fresh perspective & expertise?
- Are they focused on the transaction or the relationship?
- Do they operate with integrity and transparency?
Retailers need partners that help communicate their brand and promotional messages before consumers get to the stores and once they are in the stores. Understanding the physical and digital pathways are critical to influencing purchase intent. Messaging should provide all the right points of interruption creating an overall look of success from the customer/partner’s perspective.