The grocery business is a commodity market with low margins and only a few things that differentiate one grocer from the next — fresh selection and prepared meal options, great customer experiences and service, and loyalty programs to name a few. Those differentiators are things that heavily impact a retailer’s brand.
Once a retailer realizes what differentiates them from their competition, they need to own and protect that brand. This is often something that has a great deal of focus in-store but can be lost online whether they own their eCommerce experience or if they outsource it to marketplace services like Instacart, DoorDash, etc.
Studies show that more and more shoppers are taking an omnichannel approach to their grocery shopping. In fact, according to a recent Euroshop report, 50% of all shoppers are shopping both online and in-store. Perhaps one reason for this is the fact that many consumers prefer to choose their own food, especially fresh items like meat, produce, and other perishable goods — we all have our personal preference on how green a banana should be when you buy it.
Retailers must own their experience and brand.
In-store and online should complement each other and be consistent no matter what channel is being used. From loyalty programs to merchandiser coupons, shoppers like the process to be easy and consistent, and they want the same products that are offered in-store to be offered online, and if something is out of stock, they want comparable substitutions.
Euroshop states that a positive in-store experience can have a big impact on the online experience, and vice versa, as 65% of consumers say they are likely to spend more online with a brand if they have a positive offline experience.
Brand and Marketplace Services
The COVID pandemic changed the online trajectory for food retail. Retailers who were not ready to offer eCommerce options jumped onboard with marketplace services for a quick solution. In doing so, many retailers lost the focus of what differentiates them from their competition and perhaps even gave up some control of their brand. Having multiple retailers on one platform allows shoppers to easily pick and choose between retailers, and the branding and the shopping experience all take place within the marketplace interface, not within a retailer’s store. According to research from Barclays Investment Bank, 43% of Instacart users stated that if their preferred grocer became unavailable on the platform, they’d simply switch to another grocer.
Build A Stronger Brand with ShopperKit
Even if a retailer chooses to utilize marketplace services in some manner, there are still options to reign in brand control, especially when it comes to allowing store employees to pick and prepare orders. These innovative options give retailers back the control while also lowering labor costs and increasing eCommerce efficiency.
One such option is ADC’s ShopperKit. ShopperKit is a best-in-class fulfillment platform that allows retailers to build stronger brand loyalty and customer relationships. The platform puts the control back into the retailers’ hands and creates a trusted advisor shopping experience with real-time cooperation by offering a more personalized experience cost-effectively. The platform offers two-way communication between store employees and customers, and ShopperKit Smart Substitutions personalize product recommendations for upsells and substitutions that can be communicated to shoppers during pick, allowing the customer to feel more involved in the experience so that there are no surprises when their order arrives. Ultimately, allowing stores to take back control by creating a positive experience between the customer and brand.
See how ADC's Fulfillment solution can put the control back into your hands, request a demo today!
About the Author
Steve Paro is the Head of ShopperKit at ADC. Prior to ADC, Steve was ShopperKit, Inc's CTO and Managing Partner of VelocityChain. Steve is a seasoned technology and project management professional with a unique track record of successfully applying agile to large-scale enterprise software implementations to deliver innovative and efficient supply chain technology solutions for his customers. With two decades of enterprise technology delivery experience, and hands-on experience in coaching, leading, and managing agile teams, Steve brings verifiable, concrete results to his clients.