Refurbishing Omni-channel Strategies for Grocers

By CIOReview | Thursday, October 26, 2017
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Consumers no longer consider online shopping and physical stores as two distinct experiences rather look up toward omni-channel shopping options to get a seamless service. This trend has led more than half of the US grocers to turn to omni-channel shopping alternatives. One of the most difficult parts however is planning for a fool-proof omni-channel strategy that is most suitable for the business.

Demand Forecasting:

The trick lies in predicting the areas of demand accurately in grocery, especially fresh food. Demand planning is often a major challenge for grocers as they have to evaluate the needs of the store from a granular level, sometimes having to keep a note of even the store’s stock keeping unit per day.

At the same time when the grocer understands demand forecasting in an omni-channel environment, it also has to tackle the challenge of defining the new omni-channel target audience for the business.  

Rethinking Shopping Categories and Inventory

Retailers must also determine which are the categories that can lend more sales online while demand forecasting. For example, non-food items sell better online than food items do; however, there are exceptions like protein powders that account for almost 20 percent of online sales.

The time at which the inventory is being restocked is another significant consideration. If the physical stores are only restocked in the morning, the stock of high-demand items and fresh might decrease by afternoon, increasing the probability of disappointing many customers.

Judiciously Using Data

Consistently evaluating the data allows omnichannel retailers to understand the customer expectations versus business accomplishments better. Systematic testing enables grocers to continuously update its online offerings, an addition of new categories or making price adjustments to optimize the consumer’s shopping experience.

Conclusion

As a grocery retailer in this digital era, it not only competes with the local stores, but also the national and international retail chains. Thus, by implementing an omni-channel personalization strategy not just helps the grocer serve their customers better and increase sales but simultaneously facilitates better inventory management, improved demand planning, and more streamlined customer support, making the business competitive and profitable.