In-store grocery troubles

In-store grocery troubles

That may be the case, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report, “Front of the Line: How Grocers Get Ahead for the Future,” says that as consumers continue to demand more from retailers, the grocery industry should adapt and provide targeted shopping experiences tailored to specific consumer needs and changing demographics.

“Grocers can no longer rely on providing a one-size-fits-all customer experience.”“Grocers can no longer rely on providing a one-size-fits-all customer experience,” Steven Barr, PwC’s retail and consumer practice leader, said in the report. “The next wave of millennial consumers is likely to demand individualized attention and a shopping experience that meets their specific wants and needs. We’re helping our clients look closely at their target customer segments on a micro level to effectively tailor the path to purchase for each shopper when they are in and out of the store. Grocers that truly get to know their customers on a store-by-store basis can find success in the future.”

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 shoppers, the report shares insights on changing consumer segments, what they’ll want for the future, and what can be done today to keep them happy tomorrow.

More than half of the shoppers surveyed complained of long lines and crowded stores. Grocers that provide a smoother in-store experience are more likely to earn repeated shopper visits. What’s more, shoppers will increasingly look to store employees as shopping advisers, whether it’s for additional product information, new recipe tips, or purchase recommendations.

Although online shopping is seeing exponential growth in the retail industry, the grocery segment has not shown the same levels of engagement, the report reveals.

Only 1% of survey respondents consider online shopping their primary way of getting groceries, though 92% reported having the option to online grocery shop.

“While online channels may not become a common way to buy groceries in the near future, technology will still play a major role in the evolving grocery experience,” Sabina Saksena, managing director in PwC’s retail and consumer practice, added. “Shoppers expect information at their fingertips and, according to our survey, more than half of respondents want to integrate their mobile devices into their future grocery experience. Grocers that innovate and build on their digital channels to meet this demand will be most successful.”

The report offers five tips for grocery retailers to prepare for the future and stay ahead of the curve as demographics shift and consumer needs evolve:

·      Tailor brick-and-mortar stores to meet customers where they go. Understanding the needs of those closest to their stores, grocers can customize to customers’ current and future preferences, such as implementing wider aisles, additional parking, easy-to-reach products, and a smoother checkout process.

·      Personalize marketing strategies by acting as gatekeepers for consumers, labeling products clearly with their sustainable qualities, allowing for a more intimate connection with the product. Additionally, consumers value community and expect their local grocer to participate in community events, support area businesses and help preserve the environment through sustainable business practices, all of which can be marketed throughout the store.

·      Empower staff with ongoing training, including arming staff with in-depth product and-service knowledge is critical. Employees should be prepared to readily offer customers suggestions aligned to their lifestyles, budgets and health goals. This can differentiate a store as a source of knowledge and build more personal and profitable relationships with shoppers.

·      Transform technology by considering in-store information kiosks, in-aisle tablets and robust mobile applications for customers to readily access the information they need, from ingredients lists to food origins and nutritional facts.

·      Reinvent loyalty programs by giving customers flexibility and control in how they earn and use their loyalty reward points. Robust loyalty programs can help grocers keep future customers spending in their store versus a competitor. Also, offering customer loyalty points for purchasing promotional items and healthy foods in the store can help push new products at higher price points, increase sales and boost a store’s reputation as a health-conscious grocer.

For the original article from Loyalty 360 click here.