Three Disruptors in Grocery
Grocery shopping, a necessary weekly chore for many, has received a long awaited facelift amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A historically slow moving industry, grocery has quickly become one of the quickest moving adopters of technology in an attempt to meet its increased demand. Seeing that productivity capacities were being met, grocers looked to technology to lend a helping hand.
Through this adoption period, a few grocers took the cake in quickly implementing the correct technologies and processes for its customer base. Keep reading on to learn about 3 of these disruptors and their strategies that set them apart from the pack.
Beginning our list of disruptors is Trader Joes. Commonly rated next to customer service powerhouses like Chick Fil A, Trader Joes is consistently rated as one of the top grocers by both its customers and employees. Through every in-store touchpoint, there’s a joyful employee ready to answer questions, offer a sample, or ask customers about their day. The extra attention placed into employee training also aids in employees offering complimentary products or add-ons to increase average cart size.
In a time where physical touchpoints were hard to come by due to social distancing and other mandatory processes, Trader Joes adapted their famous customer service to encompass this while still delighting customers. Their employees went above and beyond to ensure customers still felt a similar sentiment when leaving the store, which in turn kept morale high.
Many grocers are now looking to copy this level of customer service by implementing secret shoppers to identify where additional touchpoints could be added to their current shopping flow. Trader Joes is an excellent example of technology not always being the right solution to the problem compared to good old-fashioned customer service.
During a time when many grocers looked to downsize, Publix is going against the flow with the idea that bigger is better. In December of 2020, Publix opened its first prototype of its new layout in Tampa, featuring a 48,000 square feet of dry goods and produce with a cooking school kiosk in the center. On top of this, there is a second floor with seating and WIFI where customers can relax and have a bite amid their shopping journey.
This new concept takes grocery shopping to the next level by turning it into an experience. They are attracting a different type of customer base while encouraging longer visits and experiential opportunities, like cooking classes and paint & sips.
If you can’t beat them, join them. Ahold Delhaize took advantage of a valuable partnership with Peapod Digital Labs and The GIANT Company to help power their ecommerce operations. In a time when many customers went digital to do their shopping, it was imperative for Ahold to match the mounting demand they were receiving for a better digital experience. Combining with Peapod, Ahold continues to grow its eCommerce presence, as it aims to be the top omnichannel grocer in their markets.
While many felt the pressure to quickly buy or build technology in-house, Ahold highlighted the power in combining with the correct partner to both quickly and effectively adopt a new technology, giving back bandwidth to their team to continue other initiatives.
Build Vs. Buy
In a world of quickly changing technology and consumer preferences, it is critical to partner with experts to ensure your brand is equipped with the right tools to not only serve your customers but delight them.
Shoppers now expect a digital-first journey through all their shopping experiences. However, many solutions are not living up to customer standards. flexEngage offers a cloud-based receipt marketing solution that enables personalized marketing on printed and digital receipts, and it’s FREE for grocers! Learn more about our products here.