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.
While many retailers are focused on delivering personalized promotions
and products as a way to break through the clutter, shoppers have been quietly
using the growing range of options to create
what we call personalized
supply chains. Heads up folks, this could be the next generation of shopper
marketing. Business that used to
go to traditional retail is being unbundled, and shoppers are shifting portions
of their spending to channels (and retailers) where they can get their highly
individualized needs met.
Restaurant carryout is the main “home meal replacement” today,
but there’s a new online competitor for this potentially profitable market:
meal kit companies like Blue Apron and Plated, which are essentially kitchens
that blend data and ingredients to produce a service efficiently.
Every retailer wants a straightforward way to jumpstart the
sales of underperforming stores or maybe their entire chain. This 12-minute presentation is
an easy way to see if the growth platforms in The Playbook for Success
can be of value to your company.
Generating growth in today’s flat economy is one of the problems
that keep retailers up at night these days. Taking share from the competition is always expensive and frequently unprofitable, so where
else can they turn? Consider disruptive innovation. Here’s one example.
When management takes responsibility for the future of the
business the way Bill Marriott does, it’s worth a serious look. The Chairman of
the $19 billion dollar hotel management company is making bold moves to ensure
his business is ready for its next wave of customers – 60% of whom will be
Millennials in just four years.
Now we’re face-to-face with the question, “How do shoppers
decide whether or not to buy food and groceries online and have them delivered
to home?” Eventually, the answer will be obscured by habit, but for now it
generates a lot of insight into who will win in this emerging market and why.
Sometimes you need to look into the distance to bring into
focus what’s going on around you. This is especially true today for retailers who must think about what
could happen if Amazon and Google succeed even modestly in their future retail ambitions.
The success of Sprouts and other farmer’s market type stores
is a great example of disruptive innovation – at the same time, it illustrates
the vulnerability of disruptive innovation in today’s fast moving retail
Each year the management
consultancy Centigo AB produces, Centigo Retail Outlook, a major report on
seven new retailing trends they’re seeing across the world. The reports are always full of creative
insight and this year is no exception. Håkan Bengtsson, one of the report’s
authors, is also a BMC Black Belt. We talked with him recently about some of
the things they’ve learned during the work. Here’s a sample of what the team at
Centigo is seeing.