Every week the Advancing Retail Team shares a conversation about how evolving technology is impacting the grocery world in Coffee with CART. A few weeks back they touched on an article asserting retail is about to change, and that change is tech driven. For those living in the grocery world this news isn’t surprising. Connected consumers increasingly demand a new way to interact with their grocer. Technology and convenience are the essential building blocks of these new methods.
You can’t read an article about marketing or technology trends without seeing the word ‘millennial’, this demographic represents a large amount of buying power and interacts with brands in a completely different way than prior generations. Raised by helicopter parents the Millennials expect their interactions to be consumer centric and at their fingertips. There is a new expectation for information to be readily available and searchable. Now not having a website or Facebook page is like not being in the phonebook twenty years ago.
Beyond simply existing on the web brands and stores are being asked to tailor experiences to the individual customer. Providing convenience services such as apps for shopping lists and coupons, online ordering/delivery, and mobile payment systems is becoming less of a nice to have and more of a need to have to attract and retain customers. As services trend toward the digital which will likely decrease store visits and time spent in stores, retailers must look for new ways to draw customers in. There are two ways to do this; by focusing on convenience and creating experiences.
As consumers continue to seek out more healthy, natural foods for meals, hectic lifestyles mean more people are spending their food dollars in fast casual restaurants rather than their local grocer. By offering healthy, grab n’ go meal solutions grocers can pull those busy customers back into the store. Think outside of the box by offering meal solutions that serve one or two to cater to a more diverse customer base.
Creating novelty or unique experiences can also help not only pull consumers into the store but also create a loyal customer base. Cooking classes, cake decorating demonstrations, or seasonal events create a reason for a visit; having a strategy around a series of events can create a habit for your customers. Delighting customers with experiences transforms a trip to the store from a chore to an occasion.
While the increase in demands around convenience and technology are generally attributed to the rise of the Millennials, it’s a shift that is necessary to cater to all generations. Gen-Xer’s with kids and Boomers caring for aging parents can all get behind stores that customize offerings to their lifestyles. Evolving to attract younger demographics enables retailers to add value add services that some long-time customers may not have known they needed. Interested in learning more about Millennials? Catch up with what our team has to say HERE.