Good news! Another customer just finished shopping in your grocery store. They’ve checked out, you got another sale, and now they’re on their way.
But how do you get them to come back?
Chances are, their decision has already been made, and it was based on what just happened during their shopping and checkout experience.
- Was their experience with your store fast, convenient, and hassle-free?
- Did they find the products they wanted or needed?
- Was everything in stock and priced accurately and competitively?
- Were they easily able to get help from your store staff when needed?
- Was the checkout process fast, smooth and painless?
- Were they able to avoid long lines or other delays?
- Were they able to choose between in-lane or self-checkout?
- Were they able to scan items on the first try in the self-checkout lane?
- Were they able to use their preferred payment method?
- Were they able to use a loyalty program or digital coupons to save on their purchases?
For today’s consumers, the answers to ALL of these questions need to be “yes.”
In-store shoppers want speed, selection, convenience, and savings more than ever before. Their experience during the recent COVID-19 pandemic has increased their desire to get in, find what they need, get out, and get on their way as quickly as possible.
However, this puts major pressure on grocers to meet these expectations and keep up with these changes in consumer preference and behavior. When you add consumers’ increasing demand for curbside pickup and home grocery delivery to the picture, it becomes clear that the grocery industry is facing an unprecedented conjunction of trends.
For everyone in the industry, it means business as usual is over. But it’s particularly challenging for independent grocers who’ve built their reputation and business models on personalized service and a human touch.
The idea of going all-in on speed and convenience, plus embracing curbside pickups and deliveries can seem jarring and daunting. But adapting to change in the grocery world is manageable with the use of the right technologies.
Some relatively simple and affordable investments in grocery technology can go a long way toward meeting today’s changing customer demands and expectations. Independent grocers have a unique advantage when it comes to using technology to get an edge on the competition.
They can combine technology with their traditionally human touch to create personalized and high-quality in-store and out-of-store experiences that shoppers can’t get from Amazon, a big grocery chain, or some other juggernaut.
For example, you can equip your store staff with Zebra mobile computers to provide personalized and exceptional customer service with access to inventory, pricing, item locations, and even payments, order management and checkouts at their fingertips.
Mobile devices can be a great tool for linebusting, curbside pickups, and good old fashioned customer service. With mobile apps and tools, your staff can deliver the kind of in-person and on-the-spot service that shoppers will never get from an online grocer. Moreover, it can really set your store apart from big corporate chains where personalized service isn’t always a priority.
Another way to improve customer experiences is to install next-generation scanner scales in both your in-lane and self-checkouts. New scanner scales such as Zebra’s MP7000 use multi-plane bioptic imaging technology to ensure 1D and 2D barcodes scan easily the first time, every time, creating a faster-than-ever checkout. They’re also ideal for adding the self-checkouts that shoppers increasingly prefer, while freeing up your staff to focus on restocking shelves, managing curbside pickups, or delivering mobile customer service.
The MP7000 also features options to add customer-side scanning so shoppers can scan their own coupons and loyalty cards without interrupting a cashier’s workflow. In addition, the MP7000 can also be integrated with cameras and software to automatically identify produce items, so shoppers don’t have to look them up and find the right product and price. This also helps reduce shrinkage due to customers misidentifying products.
Upgrading your point of sale is another great way to combine the best of customer service with the speed and efficiency of digital tools to help you manage your store and service channels more effectively.
For example, we work with many independent grocers to deploy an all-in-one point of sale solution that accommodates everything from in-aisle and self-checkouts to online ordering, mobile customer service, curbside pickups, loyalty and promotions, as well as store analytics and reporting, timesheets, and much more.
Our solutions also integrate easily with all the different hardware technologies and back office systems you need to use. And they’re highly flexible as well, providing a manageable and scalable way to make incremental improvements in your store if you prefer to avoid making a complete overhaul all at once.
The possibilities are many and varied, and it’s relatively easy to get started and start exploring potential solutions and store improvements by consulting with a good technology partner.
At DCR, we’ve been in the grocery business since 1961, helping stores solve their toughest business and customer service challenges. We will work with you to review your store’s needs and goals, help you get up to speed with the latest grocery technology innovations, and determine if these solutions are the right fit for your business.
We can help you develop and deploy a complete technology strategy, backed by grocery industry expertise with unrivaled white-glove service and support. We work closely with technology partners such as Zebra, to make grocery technology investments highly accessible and affordable for independent grocers.
To learn more about our technology solutions and services, contact us now to set up a discovery call and find out what we can do to help your store.