The Future of Grocery
The grocery business has always been a bit complex and in today’s marketplace it’s not getting any easier. As the shopper ascends to the role of Chief Merchant and the concept of Omni everything continues to evolve / emerge the need for an end to end view of everything is more important than ever. It is imperative that the connected enterprise be addressed if you are to truly incorporate the shopper in everything that you do. There are five key areas that the connected enterprise has impact:
Today’s shoppers, no matter the demographics, are looking for a tighter relationship with you, a relationship that is two way. They are willing to provide a view into who they are, as long as you are willing to provide an exceptional shopping/on-line/eating/store/ you fill in the blank experience. They want, no, demand that you think solely of them….
When it comes to technology, Grocers were early adaptors in one single area – Point of Sale. Things have changed in the connected enterprise. POS is important but no longer the center of the universe! Stores will be the collection point for commerce. They will be a place to gather and share lives. A place where the ingredients needed to produce that exceptional meal are discussed with a food expert, or the information about that new prescription will be explained by a medical professional. The food and drug store of the past which were disconnected, impersonal, and merely a store, will turn itself into a hub of activity that will be the center of the neighborhood
In the connected enterprise, the shopper’s experience and information is dynamically available. So when the planning process for marketing begins, it’s done with a completely different view than what has been available before. You’ll know who your shopper is, what they are buying and even more importantly what they will buy in the future. Making your marketing strategy and subsequent plans to fulfill that strategy more accurate than ever before. This information and strategy is also available for the entire organization to use to do their jobs.
In the past, merchandising and marketing were usually not on the same page, merchandising focused on product/vendor and marketing on the customer. In the connected enterprise we’re all focused on the customer. The merchant now has the power of the customer’s data to drive all the areas they are accountable for – assortment, retail pricing, promotion and displays. That currency, customer data, will enable them to negotiate with their supplier partners in a much more powerful way.
Customer centricity is the buzzword of the decade, but now it’s not just for the merchants and marketing folks. Access to the new currency of the century, data, means the consumer, not supply chain efficiencies can drive the strategy for inventory. The right place and the right time means something a bit different when it refers to the customers preference for how he or she wishes to interact with you. A customer centric supply chain can deliver a great customer experience without sacrificing bottom line efficiencies, or profitability. In summary, the future of Food and Drug retailing lies in the Connected Enterprise. The retailers that understand this today, and start the path now are the ones that will around in the future, the ones that will be poised to move on to whatever comes next!!