Shopping Experience & Center Store Growth

An AMG Strategic Advisors report defines “Center Store” as: Packaged Food, Beverages, Health & Beauty Care, General Merchandise, and Home Care.

Industry insiders say that center store sales have declined over the past several years.

However, a recent SupermarketNews article shares some interesting perspectives on this issue; and while the piece acknowledges the fact that growing center store sales is difficult, it also suggests a simple approach to solving the problem.

The article quoted Scott Lewis, VP, operations, at Harmon City Inc. , who said, “The answer [to growing center store sales…] is focusing on the shopper experience.”

“One benefit of being an independent grocer is the ability to react quickly to new consumers and trends. It’s hard to go to Amazon and browse for a new product — but it’s easy to do in a store. We try to create a treasure hunt in our stores where you’re going to find something new in those center store aisles. That’s what people are looking for in their shopping experience.”

The article also suggests pairing like products with their fresh counterparts as another method for enhancing the shopping experience and, in so doing, growing center store sales.

Read the full article…

Supermarkets of the Future Fast Approaching!

Several past posts have shared details about radical new changes that are being tested by various supermarket chains.

Well, the trend seems to be continuing according to a recent NY Post article, which gives the scoop on Amazon’s latest innovation: a two-story, automated grocery store in which a staff of robots on the floor upstairs grabs and bags items for shoppers below!

The “futuristic prototype” is based on the recently unveiled “Amazon Go” convenience store, “with a bigger layout that could span anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 square feet.”

The article goes on to explain that Amazon’s plan is to stock these bigger stores with items people prefer to see before buying. In addition, these bigger stores are expected to operate with fewer  employees – possibly as few as 3 to 10 workers per shift!

Read the full story… 

Should Supermarkets Partner for Fast Track to Online Sales?

In an effort to more easily ramp-up online shopping , some supermarkets have opted to partner with third-party service-providers like Instacart, Postmates and Google Express.

This option can make sense, especially when you consider the various processes involved and the time it might take to create and fine-tune them.

This perspective was expressed in a recent Retail Dive article,  which stated, “With deep knowledge of consumer analytics and logistics, these providers can quickly get products into the hands of customers — sometimes, in as little as one hour.”

But the article also raised a few good questions about brand loyalty and customer relationships…

Read the full article

On-line Grocery Seen as Gaining Traction in 2017 & Will Require New Process Imrpovement

A recent SupermarketNews article predicts that on-line grocery shopping will continue to gain traction again this year.

According to the article, consumers and food retailers are becoming more comfortable with the concept of shopping for groceries via the Internet.

“The rate of acceleration of change is increasing drastically,” said Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click. “We sense 2017 is going to be a year of major change.”

The article went on to site research indicatiing that the number of active users of online grocery — those who have ordered groceries online at least once in the last 30 days — nearly doubled from 11% of households in 2013 to 21% of households in 2015, and he expects that proportion to have doubled again since then.

Key factors driving the growth include:

  • Increasing availability
  • Diversity of features available as new players enter the market with a range of alternatives for consumers, such as click-and-collect delivery options and a variety of product assortments
  • Online grocery might also be getting more affordable

It was also noted that an increasing number of major supermarket chains are driving the trend toward on-line shopping, and that the entire industry will need to master new protocols and work processes to optimize efficiency.

Insight Into Shelf-side Decision Making?

A recent article published by advancingretail.org shared some interesting information about understanding shopper behavior at the shelf.

“Understanding true shopper behavior in the store has become the latest battlefield in the fast moving consumer goods industry,” the article states.

Citing studies that show an estimated 76% of purchase decisions are made in the store, the article goes on to suggest that adding even a single product to a small percentage of shopping trips could equate to significant increases in sales revenue.

Wondering if there’s a way to accomplish this?

According to the article, Shopperception, a company with locations in Delaware and Buenos Aires, offers a platform that is able to “digitize shopper behavior in much the same way marketers are able to understand shoppers’ behavior online.”

Apparently their platform uses three-dimensional sensors combined with sophisticated algorithms to generate the data.

Assuming the decision-making that will be based on the consumer preferences translated by this data is combined with high levels of customer service, could this be a win-win opportunity for shoppers and supermarkets alike?

Supermarkets Rank in Top 1/3 of Temkin Group NPS® Survey

A recent article, published by Customer Experience Matters, shared results of a survey that included Net Promoter® Scores (NPS®) on 315 companies across 20 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Supermarkets ranked sixth out of twenty, with an average score of 39.

The Top 10 and their average scores were:

  1. Auto Dealers: 48
  2. Software: 41
  3. Investment Firms: 40
  4. Computers & Tablets: 40
  5. Appliances: 40
  6. Supermarkets: 39
  7. Insurance Carriers: 37
  8. Airlines: 37
  9. Hotels :37
  10. Retailers: 35

In case you are curious, the bottom scoring industries were health plans (24), Internet service providers (16), and TV service providers (11).

It’s nice to see that supermarkets in general are above-average when it comes to customer service and satisfaction!

Hot Food Trends for 2017

Empanadas

Understanding, and often predicting what shoppers want is an ongoing challenge for retailers of all types. While food shopping involves a regular choice of basics, consumers also experience shifting interests.

In a recent Huffington Post article,  ten “hot foods predictions” for 2017 included:

  1. Jackfruit – the the largest tree-borne fruit that saw a 420 per cent rise in interest among Pinterest users, thanks in large part to the vegan and vegetarian community which discovered its use as a convincing meat substitute
  2. Buddha bowls – ypically made with quinoa, avocados, sweet potatoes and grilled vegetables
  3. Empanadas – a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Spain and Latin America
  4. Clean-eating chips
  5. Octopus

 

5 Emerging Trends That Demand Improved Supermarket Efficiency

“Shifting consumer lifestyles and habits are creating new challenges for food retailers,” says Topco in a recently released e-book.

The book goes on to suggest that supermarkets must successfully improve efficiencies and reallocate indirect spend monies to areas that will yield the highest returns for their needs in the face of today’s rewritten grocery industry landscape.

The authors list the following five trends with the greatest potential to affect your profits:

1  Experiential shopping
2  In-store restaurants
3  Digital marketing
4  Online grocery shopping
5  Gourmet, organic, and sustainably-sourced foods

See e-book… 

Supermarkets of the Future – Happening Now!

Earlier this year we shared several posts about the “supermarkets of the future,” in which several predictions were made such as the emergence of more tasting stations, more interactive displays, less waiting at check-out, and food deliveries made by robots!

Since then, many of these predictions have become realities, although not necessarily all in one place – at least until now!

A “supermarket of the future” has been opened in Italy according to a recent SupermarketNews article, which incorporates many of the features listed above and more!

The largest Italian supermarket chain, Coop Italia, has opened the store near Milan.

“The 11,000-square-foot store is built around the ideals of innovation and transparency… and merging physical and digital by augmenting a traditional food market with interactive displays and smart shelves designed to make shopping more relevant and personalized,” the article said.

The fact that this “future” store is located in Europe supports a belief shared by numerous industry experts, that being that European supermarket trends are slightly ahead of those in the U.S.

Read the full article…

 

5 Grocery Retailers Listed Among Top 50 Places to Work…

A recent Business Insider article shared a list compiled by jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor with this year’s Employees’ Choice Awards, which features the 50 best places to work in 2017 across the US.

Five grocery retailers made the list, which are:

  • Wegman’s
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Trader Joe’s
  • HEB
  • QuikTrip

Among the quotes from various employees of these retailers:

“It’s an exceptional culture with exceptional customer service standards, and where co-workers treat each other like family.”

“…managers take employee development to heart.”

“The company is focused on employee growth and well-being.”

“People matter here. It is easy to move up or advance.”