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In PwC’s report, “Front of the Line: How Grocers Can Get Ahead for the Future,” there are three compelling strategic priorities recommended for grocers to know their shopper segments, tailor store customer experiences, and become more customer-centric.
A clear shopper-segment targeting capability, a store experience that aligns with those shoppers’ needs, and a compelling value proposition will help reshape both short- and long-term retail success, the report says.
Here are the report’s three strategic priorities grocers should focus on to create a multi-tiered experience that fits the needs of retail stores and loyal shoppers.
Would your segments want an in-store cafeteria or lounge to make their trip more of an experience? Would a partnership with a local grower make them more likely to buy your produce? What store format would best position the products they care about—and also alleviate the pains of long lines and overcrowded aisles? Be able to segment your own shopper population based on their distinct preferences, and your in-store experience can better adapt.
Smart grocers are viewing their shoppers’ behaviors broadly: They look at things like spending and purchasing habits, basket composition, purchase timing and frequency, wallet share, marketing effectiveness, and branding impact. Envision your future shoppers by understanding the most minute changes in areas like these, and use that knowledge to model and anticipate future behaviors.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a one-time event: Your shopper makeup will continue to change, so collecting data and making meaning of it will be an ongoing learning experience into the future.
For the most part, shoppers we surveyed choose their grocery stores mostly based on prices and what’s close to home, as low prices and convenience are core factors behind most shoppers’ decision-making. Understand the needs of those shoppers nearest to your stores, and focus on figuring out the intricacies that can differentiate your store for the future. Continue collecting and analyzing shopper data—both historical and modeled future behaviors—to shape what your store may need to change.
Future demographic shifts will bring new diversity in culture and age groups to your stores, too, so keeping pace with the wants and needs of these new shopper segments will be especially important.
For example, if your segments expressed a clear preference for organic food options, your emphasis on carrying them may be the benefit you amplify most in your banner brand messaging. Or if you find price-consciousness in your shoppers, consider making that factor your strong suit. Whatever the ultimate approach, ensure your banner and private-label branding matches the sentiments your shoppers have expressed. Carve out a niche that appeals to their preferences.
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