The Grocery Trend You Need to Follow

By Kerry Young on Sep 12, 2019

When it comes to grocery trends, many statistics seem like old news. Consumers want convenience and low prices, and grocery click-and-collect continues to grow.

However, recently Valassis released an interesting report that included findings around what shoppers say they don’t like about the grocery industry.

Valassis data indicates that among online grocery shoppers:

  • 64% miss the sensory experience of touching and smelling produce
  • 62% find it frustrating when they can’t use coupons or discounts
  • 62% are uncomfortable having someone else pick out their produce or other perishable items

All of these issues, and many more, boil down to one critical area – Experience. In the case of grocery eCommerce, grocers think they are delivering a service that customers want (and they are), but when it comes to the experience (i.e., satisfaction), things aren’t quite hitting the mark.

(Let’s talk about the future of grocery at Groceryshop 2019EnterWorks Booth #628)

Understanding the New Grocery Experience

Many grocery experts believe that the future of grocery involves retailers becoming “experience destinations.” According to Chain Store Age (CSA):

“Grocery stores are in fact in a new period of growth and reinvention. Although the Amazon effect is placing pressure on both brick-and-mortar and online retailers, it is also ushering in a future of transformative changes for grocery stores.”

So, what does this look like, and how can grocers respond?

Consider the following recommendations:

  1. Choice-driven, seamless experiences are key: Grocery retailers must focus on providing a frictionless experience for their customers, with the choice of incorporating different modes of purchase and interaction (in store, online, pick-up, delivery, etc.) with experiences that are memorable for all the right reasons. Innovation will be key to making this happen. CSA notes that, “Future grocery store visits will be driven by a desire for inspiration.”
  2. Experiences must extend to the workforce: The overall focus for grocers will evolve from transactional to experiential. According to CSA, grocery shoppers will visit stores to “experience new products in-person and via augmented reality, participate in cooking demonstrations, and enjoy activities like wine tastings.” To support this shift, a more specialized and skilled workforce will be required. CSA notes, “Grocery stores will be automating routine and time-consuming tasks, to not only save money but also free up customer service people to engage with customers.”
  3. Data-driven offers: According to CSA, “the best way for retailers to ensure they are creating the store of the future…is to make sure they understand not only the technology on the horizon, but more importantly are listening to what their customers are already telling them through their data.” To accomplish this, retailers must leverage data and technology to predict their customers’ wants and needs, and then provide experiential moments and targeted offers at the right place and time.

Delivering Modern Grocery Experiences with an MxM Approach

Looking back at the history of grocery, you’ll find that ERP systems typically provided the central hub for enterprises. A lot was expected from the ERP as companies used it as the hub that everything had to be orchestrated from, but that approach is limiting.

Evolving to Experience Lifecycle Management

Grocery is undergoing a transformation of business models, with the pressure to deliver boundaryless experiences.

Many enterprises are focused on customer-centricity, but a broader view will help grocers address their evolving industry. Grocers should approach their business with an end-to-end lifecycle perspective, and think about ways to orchestrate and streamline experiential moments internally and externally; because customer journeys aren’t limited to your consumer – they involve your sales associates, suppliers, marketers, etc.

We believe doing so requires a Multi-Domain Experience Management, or MxM, approach. Click here to learn more about MxM.

Think about the data and content that needs to be harvested and shared to deliver the right product to the right consumer in the right place – and, with an impactful experience. If a grocer lacks the content needed for a product at the store, that’s a bad experience. If it’s out of stock on the shelf or the associate can’t help you find it, that’s a bad experience. If a customer can’t get the product on click-and-collect, that’s a bad experience. All the points must work together – from the supplier and logistics to the sales floor and across digital platforms.

How does MxM help? It enables a foundation at the intersection of multiple MDM data domains to personalize experiences that can be amplified by related digital assets, enabling people and companies to visualize products, materials, and assets across both physical and digital touchpoints. MxM also provides the core data disciplines required to support innovation and leverage emerging technology like AI, AR, and Machine Learning.

Ultimately, this is what will be required to compete with the major industry players and create experiential moments that keep your customers coming back.

To get more grocery advice, download our eBook: Navigating the New Grocery Reality: Driving Digital Transformation with MDM and PIM.

About the author

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.

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