Recent study by EKN Research on grocery eCommerce points out how the likes of Amazon, Uber and Apple are reshaping consumer expectations of convenience, seamlessness and personalization, and what retailers are, and should be, doing about it. Rapid consumer behavior change will give rise to new business models, a new set of competitors and require a refresh of grocer’s strategic capabilities. Grocery retailers are forced to prepare for the impact of increased consumer adoption of digital experiences in food service.
How consumer habits are transforming entire industries
According to the study, these are the four key areas of transformation grocers should be paying special attention on:
1. Stores will have to re-invent themselves as part of a broader, richer customer experience, offering shoppers a larger narrative for their continued loyalty.
2. Delivery service will be table stakes and expand grocers’ share of the consumers’ wallet. As delivery replaces or augment the convenience previously offered by a store visit, grocery retailers can either view it as a threat, or embrace it as an opportunity to vie for a larger share of their consumers’ wallets (e.g. online ordering of prepared meals).
3. The linear path-to-purchase model will die. With mobile, consumers now have an ”uber-channel” that has collapsed traditional boundaries. Is it a physical or digital experience when a shopper uses their smartphone in the store? As consumers traverse the physical and digital with ease, so much retailers converge how they operate channels.
4. Competition will move from formats to categories: In addition to competing against brick and mortar retailers nationally or regionally, grocers will need to contend with vertical leaders within specific categories – from fresh foods, prepared foods, to home and personal care.
When the game changes this much, so do the rules. Grocers have no choice but to evolve.
To find out more, download the study here.