For example, during the Groceryshop conference, Michael Wilhite, VP in data strategy at Kroger’s 84.51° said that Kroger "is more focused on using personalization on customer experiences rather than on operations." He went on to say that "Kroger wants to create a better environment for customers when they shop." He added that because of the frequent interaction between customers and grocery retailers, personalization has the biggest potential in grocery. "As technology continues to evolve, when making product recommendations, personalization should address the aspirational “me”, instead of simply recommending repeat purchases."
Grocery is one of the last analog frontiers, but we live in a digital world. To succeed in this time of "what's next", grocers need to deliver connected experiences. Grocery has to transform itself into a digital business, but still be hands on.
More and more retailers across the board are taking on digital transformative journeys, and grocery is no different. However, more so than for any other category, grocery getting it right is critical as there are many places to buy groceries.
As the digital world continues to proliferate across all facets of our lives, grocers are facing even more pressure to ensure that they are able to offer customers the same digital experiences in grocery that they have grown used to in the rest of the ecommerce world. This includes 30-minute delivery, endless aisles and flexible fulfillment options.
How it's always been done won't work in the new digital era. Organizations need to be rebuilt to reflect the customer's needs and wants; everything anywhere. The digital world for grocery will look much like the digital world for other retailers at different points on the transformation spectrum.
Grocers need to ensure they are on the forefront of digital transformation, not waiting on the sidelines for change to come to them. Building an organization made for digital, as opposed to loading up an existing organization with new digital duties is critical. In 2012 less than 20% of the Fortune 1000 had a chief data officer, in 2018 that number was approaching 70%. Grocers are not immune to this digital revolution, and ones that embrace this change now will be in the driver’s seat in the future.