Food and beverage supermarket trends are very much a hot topic, even becoming a default cocktail party, nice-to-meet-you conversation starter. It’s interesting then, with this attention, physical grocery store expansion slowed in 2017.
But that does not mean it was a lousy year for the group. In actuality, there was a tiny revolution going on. Instead of new store openings, JLL’s 2018 Grocery Report pointed out several trends which helped grocery stores reimagine their present places and find unique ways to innovate.
Listed below are the top three supermarket trends from the highest-performing businesses, and what you can expect for the coming months for in-store shopping.
Data-driven technology requires new strides
Retailers and grocers have always used data to better tailor the shopping experience. Now, however, with new technological progress, data collection and interpretation will be more comprehensive — and more useful. Kroger is leading the pack.
The new Restock Kroger Initiative has taken data-driven strategies to another level. Beyond just tracking foot traffic and buying patterns, Kroger’s research group, 84.51°, utilizes video analytics and infrared technologies to monitor the exact time of day customers enter the store, with whom they enter and the period of their shopping excursion.
Kroger is also using algorithms to find out when to substitute products on the shelves based on functionality. All this data is being outlined to help stock and arrange shops, and make them more efficient and client centric.
Consider it this way: Boston has its baked beans, the South has its own collard greens and San Francisco its sourdough. Each region — and every city — has a special culture of food which is not always transferrable to another place.
Kroger is contemplating these regional tastes and directing information to better understand — and behave — local tastes. Why waste time, money and resources highlighting or displaying a food item that does not sell in a certain market? Even better, why make a shop design or shelf display universal if it is only helpful in a few locations?
Forging partnerships for cross-industry influence
Grocers are assigning new meaning to the phrase”there is no I in team.” Organizations are partnering up more and more across businesses to provide shoppers a more seamless one-stop-shop experience.
According to the JLL report,”The acquisitions with the best implications will happen between grocers and non-grocery businesses which are dedicated to innovation and technology that could build upon electronic networks, delivery, logistics, and customer engagement.”
The Targets and Walmarts of the world are so successful because busy shoppers can get everything they need in 1 errand. Partnerships across businesses can help grocers compete with mass merchandisers who provide food segments, such as organic and artisanal — sectors that could have been unthinkable at a big-box shop only a short time ago.
This trend was implemented across many shops. Kroger and Ace Hardware have reportedly been in discussions to partner up and make pop-up hardware kiosks inside the supermarket. Stop & Shop has had a Staples section for more than ten years. And CVS combined forces with Target to include CVS-branded pharmacy practices within each of the Target stores.
These partnerships appear to be taking a page from this pop-up publication, and Best Buy’s new micro-store strategy. Like pop-ups, these mini-stores are great tips for brands that don’t need the overhead of a long-term rental and physical shop but still wish a presence where shoppers will probably respond.
In a different turn, Whole Foods just announced that their latest store in New Jersey will have a house and garden store-within-a-store known as Plant & Plate. The health foods giant recognized that housewares are a growing category for profit and invested in a dedicated shop section for products which match the grocer’s raw and prepared food offerings. Though not a true partnership, this highlights the growing tendency of micro-stores and crossover shopping.
Personal labels go large, and Organic
There was a time when shoppers balked at shop brands, opting instead for the favorite brand-name product over the fake version. Those days appear to be over. Private labels are climbing in popularity, after something which could be known as the”Trader Joe’s effect.”
Trader Joe’s has made its reputation selling private-label goods and promising high quality products at a reasonable price. And millennials love it.
Now, a great deal of grocery shops are following suit. Past the store-brand Cheerios or Campbell’s soup, food market chains such as Aldi are investing in complete lines of organic, healthful food. Aldi’s new dessert lineup, Earth Grown, joins an already extensive collection of in-store personal labels.
Albertsons has also doubled back on its tag, O Organics, leading to a 50% increase increase and a recent landmark of $1 billion in sales. Likewise Kroger’s Simple Truth lineup, which touts organic and natural products, reached $2 billion in annual sales this past year.
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