Let’s go with bad: the grocery industry is in trouble. It’s a tough business with thin margins, high fixed costs and many perishable products. While some may argue there is positive growth in the industry, that growth has been highly uneven — and has masked deeper problems.
The good news: the industry is ripe for major disruption and many of these significant challenges are solvable through technology.
Rubikloud’s inaugural 2019 Grocery Insights Data Report identified key insights around stockouts, shopping preferences and customer loyalty that uncover business opportunities for grocery retailers.
Product stockouts remain key pain point for grocers and shoppers
Grocers continue to face stockouts, costing them revenue and compromising customer loyalty. While most grocers are using a combination of manual labour and technology to manage forecasting, they remain challenged by the inability to obtain real-time inventory data or apply predictive technology that anticipates inventory needs based on consumer demand and shopping patterns.
Changing consumer habits and preferences
With increasingly busy lifestyles and more complex dietary preferences, consumers are trending towards a much more fragmented shopping experience. They are increasingly prioritizing ease and convenience above everything else. As a result, they are becoming effectively brand agnostic and choose to visit multiple grocery store locations more often, a trend commonly referred to as “micro-trips.”
There’s also a disconnect between third-party grocery delivery services and grocers’ supply chains. Seemingly convenient options can quickly turn into a disappointing customer experience when products that consumers order are not available, or if they arrived damaged. As grocers race to simplify the way customers shop, creating a feedback loop that connects the omnichannel delivery systems, including third-party services, and captures all of the online and offline data available, can help improve demand forecasting. By securing and owning this data, retailers will be equipped with the information they need to understand their customers and provide a truly personalized experience.
For more insights see the full 2019 Grocery Insights Data Report.