(Editors' Note: This is the final part of a five-part series.)
Read the Rest of the Report
Technology remains a key concern, hitting No. 4 on the list of issues that keep retailers up at night in Progressive Grocer’s Annual Report, with 42 percent citing keeping up with technology as a key concern.
Two-thirds of retailers indicated that they planned to increase their technology spend in 2019 to keep up with the rapid pace of change in the industry as consumers increasingly shift their lives online or into the digital realm. Technology upgrades also ranked second for shoppers’ suggestions for investments, according to a PG consumer survey.
One of the areas generating the most buzz is the rise of autonomous delivery vehicles. Several grocers, both large (Kroger, Walmart, Stop & Shop) and small (independent grocer BFL Grocery) are preparing to introduce autonomous delivery vehicles in their markets. E-grocer Amazon is testing Scout, a cooler-sized delivery robot.
When it comes to omnichannel, 9 percent of retailers indicated that they had a fully integrated strategy that connects with consumers via multiple touchpoints; however, consumers saw it differently, with nearly one-third giving their grocery stores high marks for offering multiple omnichannel touchpoints. Retailers should take note that this gives them the opportunity to surprise and delight customers who seem to have lower expectations.
For consumers, ordering kiosks topped the list of technologies that they would like their retailer to offer, with 28 percent of consumers citing this desire, while only 11 percent of retailers reported that they had plans to implement ordering kiosks in the next year. In-store mobile product scanning also was in the top three desires — autonomous delivery vehicles came in second — with 22 percent of consumers wishing that this service was available at their store. They may soon get their wish, as 17 percent of retailers indicated that they planned to add mobile scanning in the next year.