It’s an exciting time to be in the grocery world.
It’s true that estimates say that major banners like Sears and Macy’s will lead the way in closing over 3,000 stores in 2018. Many blame Amazon and other eRetailers and the reality is that Americans are spending more – just in different ways.
The problem is that many retailers are trying to replicate a physical retail experience in a digital environment. And many miss the mark
According to a Walker study, by 2020 the customer experience will be a more important brand differentiator than product or price, and as many as 86% of customers will pay more for an experience they prefer. That means, the report says, the move to digital is less important overall than the improvement of the end-to-end shopping experience across all channels.
Supermarkets are actually leading the way for a change and seem to be balancing physical and digital spaces. At the same time they are focused on a sense of authenticity. Online grocery shopping is expected to grow fivefold by 2025, reaching $100 billion in annual sales.
Supermarkets are being smart about using tech-driven solutions including mobile shopping, curbside pickup and home delivery – which solve the problem that many people have that is standing in a checkout line. They are also remodeling and upping their game with retail dietitians, grocerants and are trying to become the center of their community. 70% of shoppers worldwide still prefer to buy groceries in-store.
And supermarkets are developing new tools for brands. Albertsons has launched a new program that gives brands metrics on the impact of digital ads on in-store sales which comes at a time where many CPG advertisers like P&G have slashed their digital ad budgets and Amazon is instituting their data intelligence at Whole Foods to learn more about shoppers’ habits.