Food technology is growing by the day in a number of options, breadth of utility, and customer appreciation. If grocery retailers want to remain competitive, adopting these technologies could be key to establishing and maintaining an edge. Here are seven grocery-related technologies geared to retailers:
۱. Online shopping with in-store pickup
Participating Wal-Mart stores offer customers the ability to order groceries online and pick them up in-store. Kroger has also instituted this technology at 160 of its Harris Teeter stores already.
One recent Nielsen survey of ۳۰,۰۰۰ shoppers in 60 countries showed that about 12% of consumers already order their groceries online for in-store pickup, and 10% place online orders for curbside pickup. In the report, Patrick Dodd, president of Nielsen’s global retailer vertical, called this “the connected commerce era” in which consumers are taking a more “blended approach, using whatever channel best suits their needs.”
۲. Home delivery
In addition to in-store pickup, retailers can offer online ordering and home grocery delivery, which encourages repeat business and provides convenience for customers. Kroger is taking advantage of home delivery following its acquisition of online retailer Vitacost.com, through which Kroger now sells 45,000 products online, reports Food Business News.
Instacart is another source of growth for grocery retailers’ home delivery services. Customers can shop from Instacart’s partners, which include Whole Foods Market, Costco, Winn-Dixie, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Petco stores, through the delivery service and have their groceries turn up at their doorstep within an hour. Whole Foods has already seen success from the Instacart partnership, having generated an average of $1.5 million in weekly sales.
Through customization, online portals can track and analyze customers’ past orders to design repeatable baskets that populate with the staple items that a customer most often puts in a virtual shopping cart. This can drive consistent sales volumes for retailers from each individual customer. Through curated ordering, a retailer can also suggest products that are similar or compatible to those already in a customer’s shopping cart to increase sales and customer satisfaction.
Bi-Lo Holdings, now known as Southeastern Grocers, recently introduced a smartphone app geared toward personalized digital coupons based on shopper’s purchasing behaviors and geographic interests. The app includes a virtual rewards card that can track savings, a scanable shopping list, GPS-enabled location finders, and a weekly circular custom-made for a particular store, among other features.
Compiled in Editorial Board of Retailiran