Through lookalike modeling, retailers can take demographic and behavioral data points from anyone who completes a sale. After collecting and ingesting that data, the technology uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze that information, identifies patterns most common among people who purchase certain items, and uses these customer characteristics to engage with a larger target audience.
Personalization is also being made possible by changing the way brick-and-mortar stores are laid out and creating areas where customers will want to sit down and stay for a while – thus creating more opportunities for loyalty and sales.
3. Drive differentiation
The savviest brick-and-mortar grocers know that having a physical presence allows them to create in-store experiences that online retailers simply can’t. So they’re creating cafés within the store, offering wine- and beer-tasting opportunities, or holding cooking demonstrations that immerse patrons in a unique grocery shopping experience.
To drive differentiation, many physical grocers are enticing shoppers by carrying more robust, locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables, a greater selection of heat-and-eat meal kits, and more just-from-the-oven baked goods made on-site.
Finally, the best-ranked stores in the nation have upped their level of customer service by training their associates to be brand ambassadors by going above and beyond. For instance, employees of one national grocery chain physically walk customers to requested products rather than just pointing to an aisle. They also take groceries to customers’ cars instead of having the shoppers do it themselves.
Winning the consumer
Rivalry in the grocery industry is stronger than ever, as physical stores not only have to compete with one another, but with online players as well. The lines between online and physical grocery stores are blurring, and brick-and-mortar retailers are fighting to keep their current customers and trying to lure new shoppers within their store walls.
Technology plays a key role in the grocery store of the future, but so does differentiation through experiences and top-notch customer service. Although constantly changing, technology allows physical stores to work on providing a more friction-free checkout environment that’s similar to online, and enables them to offer greater personalization.
The store of the future is constantly changing. To win in the grocery store wars, physical grocers need to ensure a seamless experience as consumers’ needs, expectations and ways of shopping continue to change, too.