Glen Terbeek's ideas about the future of food retailing were
prescient 15 years ago, and they are still provocative today. The founder of
Accenture's original Smart Store and author of Agentry Agenda: Selling Food in a
Frictionless Marketplace, talks with us about how food
retailing is configured today, and why manufacturers, retailers and competitors
need to work together to create a new “operating system” that better
fits today’s dramatically different retail market conditions. In a follow-up interview
next month, he talks with us about what that barrier-busting system might
look like in more detail.
Most CPG companies understand that the digital future will
be very different, but how to prepare for it is less clear. The changes taking
place today are undermining the big box retail model, so maintaining the status
quo is anything but a growth strategy.
Customers increasingly go online for information and
services, so retailers can use the web to give their customers “more of what
they’re looking for” – but it has to be delivered in a way that’s easy to
access and use. That’s why we like Relay Foods’ expanded nutrition label.
player enters the delivery derby: The start-up Swapbox is deploying a network
of self-service lockers in San Francisco for shoppers who want to receive
online orders away from home. Amazon already has customer-pickup lockers in
some 7-Eleven Stores, and UPS is testing its own network of storage
a long time retail loyalty programs just gave customers with a card the
“loyalty” price and the ability to qualify for certain member-only promotions.
Some now include targeted offers and points programs, but most stick to the old
model. The question is: Do mass market loyalty programs work? The evidence
suggests, “not as well as you may think.”
get most of the attention when we talk about mobile, but mobile-optimized
retail websites are also important. While apps frequently offer shoppers a completely
new experience, shopper expectations for mobile websites are conditioned by
their experience with the desktop version. This creates both
opportunities and challenges.
Elliott Grant’s 20+ US patents testify to his love of
finding elegant solutions to hard problems. Among his creations is a technology
that enables capture of supply chain insights on over $10bn worth of products a
year. When we heard he was working on an app that helps consumers connect their
food shopping with their nutritional needs, we wanted to know more. Here,
he talks with us about how shoppers use the app, how it personalizes
nutrition scoring for individual products, and what retailers can learn from
the data it generates.
The recent New York Times article on delivery confirms that it's the toughest problem to solve as more food and
consumable buying shifts online. To date, startups and new entries into delivery are still generating more
smoke than fire.
transitioning to omnichannel, one challenge retailers face is finding a way to
let go of activities that are no longer important to their customers/shoppers
and to increase investment in things that will drive sales growth. Holistic margin management may be a way forward.
The list of ten online grocery shopping services recently published by
Mashable sparked several thoughts for us about differentiation, segmentation, economies of scale and what to expect in the future.
PJ Stafford’s wide range of experience make him a great
source for thinking about how ecommerce might transform the grocery marketplace. Here, the Co-President of Honest Green, the ecommerce
division of UNFI, talks with us about why he's convinced grocery is ready to move into the mainstream of ecommerce, how
natural retailers and supermarkets can serve the “Long Tail” needs of their
customers, and what retailers
need to do to take full advantage of the opportunity.
It’s hard for most of us to imagine how rapidly retailing
can change, but in Shanghai, Tony Zhang saw a big opportunity that others did
not – and then he drove changes that transformed organic vegetables into
luxury products in China. What he did holds lessons for others driving innovation in retailing.
Shoppers are growing more aggressive about converting their
web-enabled price-gathering powers into tangible benefits. Did you hear about Clark
Howard’s Walmart/Lego adventure in Atlanta? Situations like this are creating a stress test for retailer
A lot of the initial digital “innovation” in food marketing
and distribution focused on applying technology to the usual suspects. So
digital circulars, coupons, and shopping lists replace paper ones, and shoppers
may place online orders but often still One.Item.At.A.Time. Here’s someone
who’s thinking about needs and opportunities in a much bigger way.
news story about Walmart's new US division chief featured the giant big-box
retailer's strategic emphasis on small-footprint stores and ecommerce
integration. Performance in the US has been sluggish for the past 5 or 6
quarters, and these store formats are all about figuring out how to drive
growth by meeting the emerging needs of consumers.