With the competitive landscape of digital options available to consumers within the grocery sector, there’s definitely room in the recipe for cross-platform touchpoints in this market. For example, click-and-collect continues to be a popular omni-channel option for grocers. And although convenience remains king for time-pressed shoppers according to JLL research, 93% of consumers still prefer to purchase food and groceries in person, thanks to the ability to see and touch fresh produce. Combining multi-touchpoint options to reach consumers may be the recipe for success for the future of grocers.
With a goal of creating grocery stores as anchors to community hubs, forward-thinking grocers like Waitrose & Partners, the UK-based company, blending online and offline experiences lets them have their finger in every piece of the pie. In addition to multiple online delivery options, they have introduced an in-store, hotel-style Welcome Desk, “the physical point where online services meet good old-fashioned face-to-face service.” Designed to provide shoppers with a comfortable spot to sit and stay, customers can grab a free coffee while they wait to pick up groceries (or order more), make a bulk wine order, use the dry-cleaning service, flower wrapping or sign up for the reward card scheme.
A recipe for growth
According to Mintel’s Amanda Topper, “Millennials are the target market for foodservice in retail concepts”. In the United States, for example, two in five consumers say they are more likely to shop at a store that offers an experience, such as cooking classes or an on-site dietician, and one-quarter of Americans say they like to spend time in grocery stores when not shopping (eg to eat, work). In general, Millennials enjoy unique experiences, and foodservice concepts can provide a reason to visit one retailer over another. In-store pizza ovens, sushi bars, customized burger bars and personalized meal kits are just a few of these foodservice concepts that are attracting—and retaining—shoppers.
And brands that take note of these trends will be well-served. Some already are, as Campbell’s Soup, Unilever and many others are investing in meal kits to explore what could become a US$10 billion industry by the end of next year. It’s a growth opportunity for brands to embrace the changes and add value to both consumers and retailers.
For the first time in history, teens are spending more money on food than on clothes; a fact that underscores how important food has become in the way many people express their identities.
Understanding your customer’s behaviour and habits is key. Finding opportunities where your competitors may not, is how successful brands differentiate themselves. If you’re looking to engage with a younger demographic, meaningful experiences, transparency and social responsibility are important. Developing long lasting relationships with your partner brands becomes just as important as your customer ones.
tenthavenue’s shopper experts know that shared technology and data can enable common understanding across retailers and brand owners within the rich complexity of retail media. Get in touch with us to learn more.