News Feature | January 23, 2014

Grocery And Convenience Store IT News For VARs — January 23, 2014

Anna Rose Welch Headshot

By Anna Rose Welch, Editorial & Community Director, Advancing RNA

BSM-Mobile Device

In the news, a study shows monitoring shopping habits and preferences using smartphones could produce valuable data for grocers. Also, top grocery trends for 2014 include “Click and Collect” — select online and pick up in store — programs and a move to online sales circulars.  

Study: Monitoring Smartphone Data Reveals Shopper Preferences

Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART), Birdzi, and the NGA released results from a new case study, Grocery Headquarters reports. Findings suggest there may soon be a way to monitor customers’ shopping preferences using data from consumers’ smartphones. While the information gathered was anonymous, it still put together a picture of how consumers moved through the store and could eventually be used to assemble shopper profiles. These profiles could inform a grocer about whether the customer is new or returning and how the store could better meet consumers’ needs. 

2014: Year Of Click & Collect, Digital Circulars?

Progressive Grocer highlights the top five grocery trends for 2014. “Click and Collect” programs — that enable shoppers to select items online and then pick them up in store —  will become more important for grocers looking to draw in new customers. Stores will also be considering whether or not to move sales circulars partially or fully online. In order to determine which products to include in these circulars, grocers will increasingly leverage transaction-level data to determine which products are the most in-demand. While social media/online apps will still be important channels for offering customers promotions/offers, more grocery execs will turn to consumer data to leverage targeted promotional offers.

Customers Get Personal For Good Deals

An IBM study reveals that consumers are more comfortable sharing personal information, including location, cell numbers, and social media handles with retailers in exchange for a good deal. IBM urges retailers to enact Big Data and analytics strategies in order to use this information to provide customers with personalized and relevant deals.

Predictive Analytics On The Rise In C-Store Industry

Convenience Store Decisions highlights some of the trends facing the c-store industry this year. The industry will be faced with more mergers and acquisitions, continued gas-price volatility, and more government influence. There will be a heightened demand for predictive analytics as more c-stores look to increase profit margins. Data and fuel management automation practices ultimately will help companies save fuel costs.

Grocery And Convenience Store IT Talking Points

Scanbuy released the results of its annual holiday trend report, which show that 10.4 million mobile barcode and NFC scans were processed during the holiday shopping season. This is a 33 percent increase from last year. Application downloads, discounts, and sweepstakes were the most popular type of content accessed. Apple iOS users scanned more than Android users, while men — especially in the 35-44 age group — scanned with a mobile phone more often than women.

A recent Catalina study reveals that customers buy less than 1 percent of consumer packaged goods (CPG) products available on grocery shelves in a one-year period. In fact, there are low percentages across all aisles of the store. Customers only purchase 1.7 percent of available dairy products and only 0.2 percent of health and beauty products.

Hannah Clark Steiman for Businessweek argues that 2014 will finally be the year of the online grocer. She cites both the growth of AmazonFresh and other online grocers, and the drop in online food prices as reasons for increasing interest in online grocery shopping. Companies will need to make a “dual transformation” to both enable people to shop online and to attract customers into bricks-and-mortar stores. Turning a store into a “destination” that offers entertainment, free samples, and friendly staff could help keep people engaged with physical stores as Internet shopping becomes more prevalent.

Brick Meets Click (BMC) discusses the rising interest in web-based subscription snack services. BMC argues that these services succeed because of the convenience and personalization these kinds of subscriptions can offer shoppers. “Online shopping goes beyond just searching for an item/ordering groceries — it’s also about slicing the market in interesting ways,” according to BMC.

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