Understanding How it Impacts Everything from Customer Acquisition to Back-office Operations
Industries are shifting, whether that’s a demand for goods and services, the way we deliver those goods and services, or new emergences in the way we do business. This is true for every business, including grocers.
Let’s take a look at some of the drivers shifting industry standards and how we can leverage one specific driver to create better opportunities for grocers.
Three Drivers of Retail
1. Shifts in Consumer Expectation
There’s perhaps nothing that changes more constantly than consumer expectation, and in the era of home delivery and subscription meal prep services, consumer demands are varied, and quite frankly, challenging.
Consumers expect the ability to buy anything, anytime, and from anywhere. Finding ways to cater to these new expectations is a major driver of business for grocers.
2. Stiff Competition and the Emergence of Ecosystems
An even more pronounced trend is the sheer level of competition that’s out there. Grocery chains are collapsing under the pressure of large-scale competition and the emergence of ecosystems. A great example is Amazon purchasing Whole Foods and using the Amazon infrastructure to fold Whole Foods operations into its business model.
The last driver for grocer-specific retail is technology. As technology advances, it opens doors to help grocers better compete for the attention of consumers. With the introduction of AI, advance analytics, and IoT, grocers have more capability than ever to analyze and connect with consumers.
Technology, more than any of the other three drivers above, can stand out as a primary factor in operational effectiveness with the ability to reduce overall cost in the value chain.
This is particularly true in the realms of customer acquisition, customer engagement, commercial effectiveness, and warehouse/back-office operations.
Customer Acquisition and Engagement
When it comes to technology’s role in customer acquisition and engagement, the benefits are obvious. Better analytics leads to better targeted messaging across multiple delivery vehicles, such as digital ads.
Technology is also crucial to creating highly targeted and hyper-personalized offerings, enabling grocers to connect with consumers on a more specific level, resulting in better customer acquisition, engagement, and loyalty.
Another area of advertising where technology plays a crucial role is in enhancing digital direct marketing properties, like the addition of promotional QR codes attached to emails or digital coupons.
Technology can also help grocers maximize their commercial effectiveness by using advanced analytics to make better choices. These choices can include everything from the products grocers carry to the way they’re priced.
It can also help in making decisions related to promotional initiatives, helping to take the guesswork out of what promotional offers to run.
One of the most appealing aspects of heavy technological integration within grocer systems is the potential for higher efficiency in day-to-day operations. Technology opens the door to automating warehouse functions, as well as in-store and back-office operations.
Why it Matters
If there’s nothing else to take away from this article, let it be this: technology allows you to compete for business in a market driven by choice, increasing existing customer loyalty, and driving customers to physical stores instead of online ordering sites.
These three benefits make it imperative that grocers embrace technological solutions for many of their day-to-day operations and needs. In an era so heavily dependent on technology for communication and promotion, without it, grocers will fall behind.
Interested in learning more about the role of technology in the value chain for grocers? We have the tools that can help ensure your tech is where it needs to be.
Whether that means operational efficiency with an MRM system or acquiring new customers with our SmartMove, new mover program, contact us to see what Strata can do for you.