Daymon Worldwide, the global full service branding and sourcing partner, has identified five steps grocery retailers need to follow to successfully compete in the rapidly-evolving e-commerce world in a white paper.
1. Start with the shopper – it’s crucial to understand that shoppers’ digital lives are not separate and distinct from their physical lives. While the number of digital mediums influencing consumers has grown exponentially, the basics haven’t changed. Shoppers fundamentally want convenience, ease of shopping and value. So while many grocery retailers are already engaging shoppers online, linking digital and physical shopping experiences offer more substantial opportunities for growth. By understanding shoppers’ paths to purchase, it’s easier to find ways to deliver the right combination of both to win loyalty and sales.
2. Re-imagine the notion of service – e-commerce is more than a delivery mechanism; it’s an opportunity to differentiate your offerings in new, exciting ways. By examining successful E-commerce business examples in other channels, grocery retailers can start thinking differently about how to add convenience for their shoppers and break down any existing barriers to shopping online. Best practices focus on overcoming the limitations of traditional in-store grocery shopping by creating services that align well with core shopper preferences and expectations. For instance, many major retailers across categories now use online sites to showcase what’s available in-store for quick, convenient pick-up at preferred locations. Others address consumer concerns about ordering fresh produce online by offering daily quality ratings and recommendations for next day delivery.
3. Create compelling In-store experiences – brick-and-mortar grocery retailers offer advantages that online retailers can’t, including the ability to appeal to all five of a consumer’s senses and the availability of real-time conveniences. Creating compelling in-store experiences that complement a retailer’s digital presence is a key strategy to attracting target shoppers. Consider providing freshly prepared specialty foods and sampling opportunities in every aisle. Leverage private brand portfolio to offer creative pairing and serving suggestions to showcase products only available at stores.
4. Expand offerings with a well-curated “endless” aisle – considering that 58% of shoppers say they regularly leave the grocery store without at least one of the items they intended to buy, offering well-curated “endless” digital aisles allows retailers to help shoppers remember everything on their list while providing new opportunities to search and sample new options. Endless aisles also provide a virtual treasure hunt for consumers who enjoy browsing for new experiences, and because they are digital, they can easily be altered as frequently as necessary to reflect seasonal products, specials and promotions and new products. Digital aisles also offer opportunities to increase “shelf space” and even reduce store size.
5. Think of your shopper as your partner – retailers who go beyond communicating product specials and simple e-newsletters that regurgitate weekly circular information have excellent opportunities to build more meaningful relationships with consumers. Facilitating two-way dialogue that makes it easy for shoppers to express their opinions and share their preferences allows retailers to capture valuable information and show customers they’re genuinely listening and responding.