The Future of Grocery Shopping

17 January 2020
6 min read

Grocery shopping has come a long time since the days of trawling for a car parking spot and spending two hours in store. Nowadays, most people are able to shop from the comfort of their own home via the internet. This can be done via a multitude of devices, and through a number of channels. Even paying for groceries isn’t the same anymore. So, what’s the future of grocery shopping? Has digitization passed the point of no return?

Changing Grocery Shopping Preferences

What’s the one thing consumers are constantly short on? Time. Today’s grocery shopping has to be able to address the issue of never having enough time, and always wanting to find a quicker way to achieve greatness. Sure, the home assistant can find the best recipe for a vegan nut roast in a split second when relatives are coming, but if the consumer then has to go to the store and spend two hours hunting for the right ingredients, what’s the point?

Grocery shopping is quickly catching up with the globally changing preferences of consumers. They want to spend more time working, or with their families, or with their social network communities. Overwhelmingly, they want more choice and less lengthy decision making processes- which needn’t be an oxymoron with the right technologies.

Ultimately, grocery customers want a multi-channel, fully personalised experience. That might mean improvements to in-store self checkout and it might mean better apps or more payment options. The most pioneering supermarkets and stores will find a digital partner that will allow them to offer all of these options.

Giving Consumers More Choice

One of the most important things to note about modern consumers is that they want to be able to access their needs via multiple channels. TV fans watch their favourite streaming services via their smart TV, their mobile phone, or their tablet, and can manipulate so much more with their smart watches. Shopping has to integrate into this multi-device mindset.

Computers were just the beginning. Many individual consumers don’t own a traditional desktop computer and even laptops are being gradually replaced by more and more technologically advanced tablets and similar devices. One large appliance manufacturer has such an integrated device solution that the user can access a camera in their fridge, from any WiFi enabled device. They can then view the contents of their fridge, and use this information to create a grocery shopping lists- which they can then complete online. In theory, this can all be done from anywhere in the world. These are the kind of options consumers are excited about. Not just for the novelty factor, but for the real-life time saving potential.

A primary changing shopping preference is the need for personalisation. This means making the grocery shopping experience completely personal to the person who logs in- or who enters the store. Imagine a customer walking into a supermarket and their phone immediately alerts them to the best, most relevant special offers, plus where to find them. Bluetooth connectivity makes adverts “talk” to a phone, delivering vouchers or personalised content that’s tailored based on the previous engagements with the brand. Location services recognise when customers are at a specific location of a brand or supermarket, and lets them know what events or special offers are taking place that day Personalisation has become about so much more than simply lists of “Favourites” or “Must Buys”.

Of course, one of the benefits customers enjoy most about modern grocery shopping is the ability to check out faster. Scan and Go technology allows customers to scan their shopping as they browse the store, which when combined with the above time saving offers and personalisation, can really knock a huge chunk of time and stress off the whole shopping experience.

Multiple channels for payments are also a great time saver, plus add more security too. Not having to take a wallet or purse out in a crowded area increases confidence and safety in shoppers. This is possible with services like Click and Collect, saved payment methods, phone-pay apps and more.

What about Non-Digitized Grocery Brands?

It’s fair to say that grocery shopping has changed forever. Without adapting to this, grocery retailers could find themselves losing customers. Increasingly, customers wish to interact via digital means. This doesn’t mean they’re never going to visit the store again. In particularly, during times like Black Friday sales and post-holiday sales, in-store shopping sees a massive upturn. But the most successful of those retailers also engages with their customer base online via multiple channels.

Making in-store shopping pleasant and stress free should be combined effortlessly with digital technologies to create a brand presence that customers can’t help but talk about. Payment optimisation is of high importance in this low margin business. In order to achieve this, stores need a partner that will help them lower transaction costs by reducing the risk of fraud and introducing lower fees. Simplified transactions have the added benefit of a dramatically improved customer experience.

How does Ubimecs help?

Ubimecs uses top advances in digital technology to create grocery shopping solutions that really work for both the brand and the shoppers. Rather than simply creating a shopping app with a virtual grocery list, Ubimecs allows clients to create a complete platform for full engagement with their customer network.

Imagine being able to guide your customers to their nearest store without them ever having to leave your app. No need to swap to their phone’s or car’s maps app; the grocery app will take them exactly where they need to go and could even help them find the best place to park.

Product details can be as simple and striking, or as beautifully detailed as you like. This is especially useful for specialist stores who need to provide detailed ingredients or high resolution images for customers to browse before they buy. The details of what’s shown on the app are entirely in your control, and can usually be changed and updated without your clients having to update the application on their device.

Most importantly, Ubimecs works across multiple channels. As the world of digital technology grows, grocery retailers need to find ways to reach customers who may not be tempted into store or even to sit down with a computer screen. Reach every customer in their pocket with their favourite device, wherever they are, and however they want to be contacted. The ideal way to future proof your business.

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