The past few months have accelerated the digital strategies of some food retailers in the country. Some implemented makeshift e-commerce platforms to cater to customer needs and some reinforced their in-store online initiatives, like store mobile apps, in the hope of adapting in today’s innovative times.
Due to recent events, we were greatly propelled into a shift to the digital world, but what are food-retailers doing to prepare themselves for the e-commerce revolution?
Food Retailers are Getting Agile
E-commerce sales records continue to surge this year. Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey recorded up to $7.2 billion of e-commerce grocery sales last June. This exponential increase in sales and online grocery adoption show a very good opportunity for food retailers to venture out into comprehensive online initiatives.
To take advantage of these opportunities, some grocers are refining their strategies to cater to the demands and needs of their online consumers. Some grocers are now increasing their capacity so customers can choose more time slot options at their convenience. Sobeys, a Canadian food and drug retailer, just launched Voilà by Sobeys, a home delivery service platform that boasts its automated order system with robots assembling customer orders for minimal product handling. They offer a one-hour home delivery window to cater to more consumers who are wanting to get their groceries promptly delivered at their doorsteps.
Since a lot of consumers are now buying online and in-store, grocers are now reinforcing their dual-channel grocery shopping strategies to target consumers, most especially the younger demographics. Aside from improving in-store experiences for consumers like investing in equipment that would save retailers money, some grocers are also investing in their store mobile apps where customers could browse for rewards, earn grocery points and receive personalized messaging like product recommendations.
As consumers’ buying behaviors evolve, our tactics also need to adjust. This would include dedicating fulfillment space for a faster turnaround on e-commerce orders, synchronizing in-store and online experiences, and investing in automation together with strategies that would hit store goals and targets.
The digitization in the industry is no surprise. In fact, we knew it was coming, just not as quickly as it has. A lot of us have grappled with the challenging pace of transitioning from manual to automated, but as long as we prepare ourselves for what’s coming ahead, we as an industry would all come out victorious in the end.