Grocery Supermarkets are evolving. This is primarily due to the onslaught and impact of the e-commerce channel which is eating up the share gradually of typical brick and mortar stores. Coupled and fuelled by the impact of Covid – eCommerce has more than doubled its speed for growth and the recurrent lockdowns and closures add only woes to the grocery supermarkets. Customers have shifted their focus towards online, value for money, and lifestyle agendas.
Even before Covid hit grocery supermarkets were under a lot of stress. Some of them had understood and started to modify the stores to become premium in nature. With premium it does not mean just giving premium assortments of grocery categories, it is also about being premium in décor, being classy in imagery, having state of the art technology, and the entire store is driven by technology to uplift the customer perception about grocery shopping. And that is how grocery shopping is going to be shaped for the future.
Some of the key aspects around a premium grocery store are
Experience: it’s all about the experience. The regularly required stuff the customer can easily purchase from the eCommerce channel . It’s an experience that they cannot buy. The grocery stores need to be an experience destination for the customer. Something which they cannot find in an online channel
With premium grocery stores – we also definitely mean and include a premium array of gourmet assortment that you traditionally do not get on an online channel platform. People like to explore the gourmet grocery which has an edge in taste and make compared to the traditional grocery.
Using analytics you could and studying the individual customer buying patterns through loyalty programs to predict what and when the customer might want to give them personalized experiences
Stores like Kroger in the US have made the app in such a way that the customers fill up their requirements in the app – and when they are near an item aisle to be purchased it gives a pop-up.
Kroger has also made advancements in making the shelves as digital displays which give call-outs when a product is about to exhaust on a shelf so that the staff can refill it and minimize the opportunity loss.
Using data analytics – stores will have better demand forecasting and thus predicting sales – therefore minimizing overburdening of inventory and sharpening of inventory models thus saving in the long run.
Apps and Micro Fulfilment Centres
Since the consumers are hooked onto eCommerce, most premium supermarkets are rolling out their apps which not only provide “value” but also services like
Pick up by Customer from the store. (the store acting as an MFC). The more exciting option for them, as it brings the customer to the store and can result in increased sales.
In-Store Pop-Ups, Events, and Classes
The new age is about engaging the customer with activities that interest them. Having a tasting booth of a new product or a wine pop-up that also explains the craft around winemaking are simple yet engaging activities that would draw customer interest. Due to this you also increase the time spent by the customer in the store thus increasing the purchase time.
Hybrid – Shop and Eat Concept
To up the level of experience and provide a more holistic grocery shopping experience to the customer – in-store dining ( via a restaurant or a café) – where customers can sit post-shopping their grocery needs and enjoy a dining experience.
Retailers have branched out from the confines of typical retail and branch out into hospitality and events.
Inspirations and Product discoverability:
Customers are looking for a specific food. If you inspire them regarding the category they are intending to buy- there is nothing more delightful for the customer. Customers may be looking for vegan food, party food, healthy foods, a particular cuisine – having designated colour-coded areas, exciting displays, and bringing the relevant food assortments together aids customers to discover new products.
In this modern-day having detailed information digitally on each shelf also gives a lot of information and aids the customer in buying products.