Everyone knows that Amazon and other online retailers have changed the retail landscape forever and caused a digital disruption in the space. As this Forbes article explains, what is known as the “Amazon Effect” has “introduced consumers to an almost completely frictionless shopping process with near-immediate results.”
Customers now want this frictionless shopping experience in everything they do, whether in front of their computers or at their local supermarket.
Wake Up Call for the Food Industry
More and more food retail executives see Amazon as a primary disruptor and competitive threat in the fast-changing grocery industry. Based on data obtained through surveys of food retail executives, Russell Redman reports the following statistics in his recent Super Market News article:
- 83 percent deem Amazon’s food offerings as a threat to traditional grocery stores
- 35 percent schedule sales to compete with Amazon Prime Day discounts
- Only 25 percent believe consumers are “very satisfied” with their current supermarket
- 71 percent agreed that if grocery stores “don’t enter the modern age,” people will seek . . . other ways to purchase their food”
As meal delivery services and eCommerce food stores transform the food and beverage landscape, existing stores need to embrace new technology to differentiate and improve the overall consumer shopping experience.
How to Compete with Online Grocery Retailers
In the Forbes article, author Lin Grosman suggests the following strategies for competing in the new world of online grocery shopping:
- Use your brick-and-mortar store to support online efforts. At least for the moment (Amazon is adding physical stores at an alarming rate), you have an advantage with physical locations. Leverage your brick and mortar stores and coordinate what you do online with the retail locations. Offer specials for people who download your app or offer discounts for people who order online for later pick up in the store.
- Track customer behavior in-store and online. “Everyone knows that you can use analytics to improve your website, but these digital tools are now increasingly effective in offline stores, too.” When a customer enters your store with a smartphone in their hand, you can (with their permission) trace their movements throughout the entire store. You can see where they spend the most time, where they make purchases and where they become frustrated.
- Leverage mobile technology in-store. Shoppers are becoming more and more independent and may stand in your store while they check pricing at another. “Make it as easy as possible for them to acquire (what they want ) as quickly as possible.” Mobile technology is here to stay and if you do not already have mobile-savvy people on your marketing team, find them and have them investigate ways to leverage the technology to your advantage. Embrace the digital disruption. One retailer is sending a text to a member when they walk into their store offering a free cup of coffee. Learn to understand “push marketing” and look for more ways to make your customers feel appreciated.
A Resource for Competing in the Future
Phononic, a refrigeration company on the CNBC Disruptor 50 List notes that most food margins are already razor-thin, so cutting prices is hardly an option for competing with online retailers. They suggest leveraging technology “to improve convenience and increase basket sizes.”
They also report that 46 percent of food retail executives polled agreed that supermarkets “haven’t changed in decades” and must figure out how to use technology if they are going to compete in the future.
Glympse for Grocery Delivery and Curbside Pickup
Another way you can compete is to work with a technology like Glympse. Use the digital disruption in the industry to your advantage. Our powerful platform offers location sharing as a service, including APIs and SDKs that enable app developers to integrate location sharing into their mobile ordering. Location data can also be integrated into grocery operations software. Most importantly, features control and limit the length of time a location is shared, maintaining the user’s privacy. Glympse also provides a custom branded web-based map, route-view, and ETA that your customers can access through any web browser. Notifications via SMS and email drive users to the web experience, so they know exactly when to check back for the latest update on the status of their order. Contact us today to learn more!