How to Stay Ahead in a Changing Grocery Industry
With the introduction of e-commerce and the ever-changing needs of consumers, it can be difficult for retailers to stay on top of the grocery industry. Use these tips to stay competitive and relevant to today’s consumers:
Keep the conversation going online.
Once customers leave the building, the communication has to continue with them through social media and other digital channels. Use social media to build and nurture a relationship with consumers and to alert them of specials and promotions in the store. Social media is also the go-to spot for consumers to give feedback about customer service or available inventory, so have someone on hand to answer these questions and deal with complaints. Remember, the relationship shouldn’t fizzle when the customer leaves the store, it should always be a priority to think of ways to keep them coming back.
More and more consumers are looking for experiences when they go shopping, not just products. Even in grocery stores, customers expect staff to be well-trained and knowledgeable about products. Go above and beyond in creating a memorable experience by keeping the staff informed on new products, ways to prepare foods and trends that customers may ask about like gluten-free foods. If you lack the necessary knowledge, ask your wholesale distributor for more information that you can pass along to the team. This is especially important for employees that work in the meat or produce sections, where customers are more likely to ask questions about the quality of the products or how to prepare them.
Mobile undoubtedly will play a huge role in the future of the grocery industry, so retailers that haven’t already stepped into this world should seriously consider entering now. Use mobile apps to personalize the shopping experience for consumers, feeding them coupons that are easy to redeem and pushed directly through their mobile device. Allow consumers to create shopping lists or access healthy recipes through your app, turning your retail store into just not a place to go to purchase products, but a one-stop shop for everything related to food and beverage needs.
In a world where customers are adding more and more to their schedules, it’s important to give them conveniences wherever you can to save them time and frustration. Smart retailers will look to add click and collect services, where customers can order items online and pick up in the store later. Even if your store does not have the capability to make this possible for an entire grocery list, allow customers to at least pre-order sliced deli meats or prepared sandwiches to shorten the time they spend within the store. Add a larger selection of prepared foods to accommodate the growing number of customers who are looking for healthy yet quick meals after a long day of work. Anything you can add to the shopping experience that will save customers time will be a welcome addition as the industry continues to grow.
What do you think the future has in store for the grocery industry?