Tag Archives: supermarket customer experience

“Checkout-less” Supermarkets: What’s Old is New?

The Seattle Times recently published an interesting and entertaining  article, which referenced the announcement made late last year by Amazon.com regarding the launch of an experimental convenience store in downtown Seattle where customers could skip the checkout line.

While the concept was presented as futuristic and technologically innovative,  a French retail chain, Monoprix, took issue with that depiction.

As the video showcased within the article explains (in a clever and somewhat humorous way), “Monoprix’s “Livraison à domicile +,” is their 10-year-old service that also allows shoppers skip the checkout lines – via a different form of innovation.

What’s old is new!

Trends Continue to Add Fuel to the Shopping Experience Fire!

In a recent article posted by Pan Oston, a customized retail fixture and display manufacturer, the following five supermarket trends were identified for 2017, adding more fuel to the “shopping experience” fire:

  1. Retailers Should Treat Their Stores Like a Home: Unique retail experiences are still very important to customers and reward retailers who provide them.
  2. Convenience Will Be Key: Push button product, services, payment and delivery will be come more and more prevalent.
  3. Brick-and-Mortar Stores Will Become More Integrated
  4. Niche Retailers Will Rise
  5. Brick And Mortar Drives Customer Experience: Driving the customer experience, brick-and-mortar stores will remain relevant in 2017.

Read the full article…

“Quick” Customer Experience Analysis

As you most likely know, “Omnichannel” refers to a type of retail that integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers (i.e., online, in-store, phone…).

While some say the concept is just a fancier way of describing cross-channel sales, others profess that “Omnichannel” goes further to encompass the continuity of the shopping or customer experience (CX).

To further illustrate this perspective, Todd Leach
VP, Client Insights at Service Management Group (SMG), an organization that focuses on customer and employee experience, writes that Omnichannel is changing consumer expectations and, in one of his blog posts, suggests that “speed” is high on the expectation list.

“Above all else, speed means seamless,” Leach says. “…and the idea of seamless is the root of an Omnichannel experience. Customer information must be available across multiple touch points throughout the customer journey to help make interactions with your brand both efficient and effective. Remembering a customer’s most-purchased items makes checkout a breeze…  a push notification lets them open your app when they come near a store… one-click check-out saves customers from having to give the same information over and over again. These small details make a huge difference in a smooth and efficient customer experience—and that translates to a favorable brand perception and a boost in customer loyalty.”

It seems the online and in-store experiences are merging to better serve customers. The question is, will this ongoing evolution and the associated impact on the customer experience also drive customer loyalty?

 

Supermarket Shopping Experience Reinforced at “Supermarket Sense”

Continuing the “supermarket shopping experience” discussion from our previous post, a recustomerservicecent SupermarketNews article reported that it was aslso the theme at  Supermarket Sense, a food retail training conference that recently wrapped up just outside Atlanta.

“In today’s competitive environment, supermarkets can’t just sell food… they have to sell an experience,” the article said.

Sessions on saving the center store, reinventing the perimeter, tapping restaurant trends to drive supermarket sales and designing and merchandising delightful in-store spaces reflected grocers’ need to remain competitive amid unprecedented industry change.

Two data points offer a view of the challenges:

  • Online grocery sales in the U.S. grew 11% annually from 2011-2016, according to IBISWorld’s market research report. It’s now a $12 billion-a-year business.
  • Meanwhile, supermarket trip frequency decreased by 19 trips a year, on average, during that same period, according to global research firm Nielsen.

The solution, industry experts say, is engaging supermarket customers with an in-store experience that beats shopping online — or anywhere else!

Read the full article…

Supermarkets Enhance the Shopping Experience via Partnering

SupermarketNews recently reported that Publix Super Markets will be testing Starbucks cafes in select stores in an effort to enhance its shopping experience.

According to the article, the Lakeland, Fla.-based retailer said that stores in Tampa and Winter Park, Fla., and in Winston-Salem, N.C., will be adding Starbucks cafes shortly.

Of course co-located branded coffee stations have been common in supermarkets for more than a decade. Other “strategic partnerships” or co-location partnerships geared toward providing shoppers with added convenience include Citizens in-store branch banks at many of our local Hannaford Supermarkets, numerous Dunkin’ Donuts stores within convenience stores, and in-store Rite-Aid pharmacies at many Shaw’s Supermarkets.

All of which represent the continuing trend on the part of supermarket chains to put additional focus on customer service and the shopping experience as they strive to maintain competitive positions.

Possibly you might like to share additional examples?

3 Supermarket Shopping Demands & the “War on Big Food”

With more and more consumers becoming informed about the health benefits of natural and organic food products, it is inevitable that grocers will need to increase their fresh produce selections and increase their marketing efforts around these departments, which are typically located in the perimeter areas within their stores.

According to a recent article published by KDM P.O.P. Solutions, three specific consumer demands will reshape the typical supermarket over the next several years:

  • Healthy and natural
  • Local and fresh
  • Organic and unprocessed

These consumer demands will continue to rise and this trend effects the whole grocery shopping experience, the article suggests, noting that 75% of consumers choose which retailer to do their shopping at based on the store’s produce department.

And according to Supermarket News, 43% of health conscious consumers choose a shopping destination based on their organic food selection, while 32% seek foods grown locally, and another 28% look for natural, fresh foods.

Shoppers are indeed skipping the middle aisles, where most all “Big Food” packaged brands are located, and heading toward the store’s perimeter, where fresh foods are found.

Steve Hughes, a former ConAgra executive who now runs natural food company Boulder Brands, believes so much change is afoot that we won’t recognize the typical grocery store in five years. “I’ve been doing this for 37 years,” he says, “and this is the most dynamic, disruptive, and transformational time that I’ve seen in my career.”

 

Added Focus on Food Shoppers Aimed at Driving In-Store Traffic

Walmart’s  grocery aisles are getting an upgrade, according to a recent article in USA Today.

The company is hoping to entice customers and boost sales with more emphasis on organics, selection, wider aisles and new bakery goods.

“In the U.S., there’s been a really big step change in grocery retailing in terms of the standard of stores,” says Stewart Samuel, program director at IGD, an analytics firm that tracks grocery retailers.

The theory behind the change has been that by offering enhanced and more “exciting” products along with a greater shopping experience, supermarkets will draw more people into their stores; and the increased traffic will yield more revenue.

However the article also goes on to note that all supermarkets face multiple challenges to their overall business. First, a marked increase in on-line shopping, which means customers may be less likely to visit a store.

Plus, more big retail chains are making food a priority.

Looks like the battle for market share and wallet-share continues… and it’s nice to see that the customer experience has become a key driver!

No Lines at the Supermarket?

supermarketcheckout copyImagine an entire shopping trip without long lines or human interaction. The days of suffering through a mile-long-line on a shopping excursion might soon come to an end, according to a recent Mashable.com article.

The article shared information presented at the National Retail Foundation’s “Big Show” in New York by Diebold, which produces self-service finance products, will introduce what it’s dubbed a “contact-less self-checkout concept.”

The concept will allow grocery store customers to skip the check-out lines and instead scan items with their phones as soon as they stuff them into their cart.

At the end of the shopping trip, customers will stop by a self-checkout machine where they can either pay with cash on the machine or through a credit card through tapping the phone’s mobile wallet, which will have credit card information on file.

Wow! I wonder what will be next…?

Read the full article…