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Three observations from Day 1 of Grocery Shop

Brands and retailers are moving convenience beyond just availability and usability

  • In a world in which consumers can have anything delivered to their house or office within hours, brands and retailers whose value-add was “convenient locations” or “ready to eat” packaging, need to evolve. One idea we heard mentioned several times was creating convenience by lessening the cognitive load required to make a purchasing decision. By understanding the customer intimately and knowing the critical variables in their path to purchase, companies can bubble these items to the surface. For retailers, this can manifest itself as a curated discovery process based on past purchases as well as offering comparisons charts on item attributes which mean the most to the customer. For CPGs and manufacturers, this can be simpler packaging and intentionally showcasing the aspects of the product which mean most to their customers.

Marketing is no longer about connecting to a market – it is about connecting with an individual

  • Many speakers addressed how their businesses have shifted their marketing dollars and focus to individuals, rather than a specific region, city or even community. Coca-Cola (small, relatively unknown, beverage manufacturer) explained that their “Share a Coke” campaign, with names written on the bottle, was explicitly designed to create a personal connection; Care/of (start-up, online vitamin company) leverages their app to tailor educational content to the customer, and as a result, the customer shares more data; Albertsons (national grocer) is creating an online marketplace aimed at placing new and upcoming brands in front of individuals rather than attempting to market new brands regionally. Customers, now more than ever before, have direct lines of communication with companies via Twitter, Facebook and as a result, companies are starting to forge direct lines of communication back.

Customers crave more than just an ecommerce world and this is a massive opportunity for omnichannel retailers.

  • There is currently more information compiled on the internet than ever before, and our society has never been more connected to it through our phones, computers and other devices. As a result, there is a perception that if we have a question – no matter what it is – we should simply “look it up.” However, consumers are indicating that they want to speak with someone who is an expert and can pare information down, rather than having to become the expert themselves. Companies can seize the opportunity to help navigate their customers through this information and not only become the place of purchase but also a destination for knowledge, in both online and their brick & mortar locations. Home Depot and REI, to name just two retailers, have done this for years and the opportunity to do so in grocery is “ripe” for the picking.

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