The grocery industry, as a whole, has been reluctant to change. For years, brands have been comfortable knowing they provided an essential service for customers. Executives have seen innovation as an unneeded expense instead of an opportunity to improve the experience or to differentiate from the competition.
Now, everything has changed. The way people want to shop is completely different.
When we said grocery lacked innovation, we came with receipts.
There are some examples of innovation in grocery. Amazon turned Whole Foods stores into fulfillment centers. Kroger opened a dark store completely designed for pickup, with no shopping inside the store. Walmart realized customers didn’t always want to come into the store for pickup, so they brought BOPIS to the parking lot.
The problem with grocery innovation is that some of the biggest brands are willing to make bold moves, but many other brands haven’t delivered services that make things easier for their shoppers. Compared to the past when many consumers had few options when it came to getting essential goods, today’s consumers are forcing stores to make changes or they’ll take their proverbial—online or offline—carts elsewhere.
So what can grocers do to prevent losing customers and look toward gaining customers in the future? Build the store of the future.
We have data that shows customers want this grocery store of the future—and, in reality, this store, is not all store. It’s part fulfillment center, a little bit of dark store, a touch of entertainment experience, with a splash of drive-thru. We’ve got the details on what people want. We just can’t share it all publicly here. We strongly believe this will be the future of grocery stores. Email WD Partners at TalkWithUs@wdpartners.com and learn how to be a part of this future.