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Modern Grocery Trends Require Modern Technology

GroceryBusinesses in all verticals and niches are adapting to technology disruption, new industry trends, and changing consumer preferences. Businesses in the grocery industry, however, are evolving into models that few anticipated a decade or two ago.  Some have dine-in cafes. Others have added craft beer or wine shops. Some formats are growing larger, while others are getting smaller. And shoppers have the choice of ordering online for curbside pickup or delivery, shopping in-store and skipping the line with self-checkout, or the more traditional way of filling carts and checking out with the assistance of a cashier.

Approaching 2020, ISVs and VARs working to help businesses stay relevant and competitive need to keep a close watch on grocery trends that are shaping the industry and, in response, provide solutions that will give their clients a competitive edge.

The Omnichannel Trend

Research from Valassis reveals that 32 percent of U.S. consumers have made an online grocery order in the past year. The research also shows that 72 percent of consumers who make purchases online also shop in stores, and more than one-third of shoppers use multiple methods — convenience-driven consumers will do whatever is easiest. Although that’s usually making purchases at supermarkets or grocery stores, sometimes it means picking up groceries at a drug store or dollar store or stocking up with an order from Amazon. To keep as much of its customers’ grocery dollar as possible, businesses need the capability to make shopping convenient and easy, regardless of how shoppers want to engage with them.

Create omnichannel solutions that include point of sale (POS) or retail management as well as e-commerce or mobile apps for shoppers who want to order ahead. Your clients may also need solutions that enable delivery or effective communication with delivery partners. Efficient methods of communicating, packing and labeling orders are essential for businesses with curbside pickup, so the right items are ready for customers on time.

To effectively offer and manage omnichannel experiences, grocery businesses also need an omnichannel payment solution. It will not only create seamless experiences quicker for customers regardless of how they choose to pay, but an omnichannel payment solution will also enable grocery businesses to manage payments from multiple channels more efficiently. Grocery businesses can also use payment data from an omnichannel solution to build a complete picture of their customers, revealing their buying habits and preferences. Then, they can use those insights to create effective, targeted promotions.

Trending In-Store Experiences

In addition to adding new channels, grocery businesses are adding new in-store offerings. The omnichannel shopper who picks up groceries curbside needs incentive to park the car and come into the store. Grocery businesses are creating new experiences that can help maintain foot traffic and keep shoppers walking past tempting specials and displays.

This strategy means that some grocery businesses are entering into uncharted territory such as operating a café or serving prepared foods, scheduling and staffing cooking demonstrations or sampling, or adding new departments with merchandise taxed at different rates.

Your clients are turning to you for solutions that allow them to manage revenue streams from a single solution and to access real-time data from individual parts of their business or their business as a whole.  In addition to managing new processes, such as establishing an effective way to get orders for food or drink for in-store dining to a prep area and managing tips, your clients may also need to schedule and manage employees who staff new areas or deploy ordering kiosks and unattended payments.

Provide your clients with integrated systems that enable effective management of all areas of their businesses and allow them to keep a close watch on costs and profits.

The Trend toward Higher Numbers of SKUs

Another grocery trend that’s creating a challenge is the increasing number of products and product variations that businesses can carry. Organic, gluten-free, or specialty versions of products are in demand, especially from millennial and Gen Z shoppers, and shoppers also expect to find an extensive selection of ethnic foods and wellness products at food retail stores.

Your clients need inventory management with an unlimited number of SKUs for the continually expanding list of products they can stock. Provide real-time data on availability and solutions that automate the ordering process so grocers don’t have empty shelves or excess stock that will lead to losses due to expiration and waste.

Grocery business’ omnichannel customers may also be looking for the ability to make special orders for online or in-store purchase. Provide your clients with solutions that can satisfy this demand.

What Hasn’t Changed in the Grocery Vertical

While businesses are evolving to keep up with grocery trends, some things remain constant. Customers don’t want to wait in line. Provide your clients with solutions that enable fast checkout experiences with features including screens designed so cashiers can find what they need quickly and efficiently. Your clients may also be planning to deploy unattended payments and self-checkout solutions that are secure and customer-friendly. Regardless of the form that checkout takes, ensure payment transactions are as fast and smooth as possible with options including Quick Chip technology.

Add Datacap's EasyCheckout™ to your Solutions today!