Moving beyond high tech vs. high touch to better shopper connections

Moving beyond high tech vs. high touch to better shopper connections It’s time to reconcile high tech and high touch in food retailing. The two can complement each other better than ever today. Bob Wheatley’s blog "Supermarkets: Do you know me, love me?" made me thoughtful about just how far we’ve come in terms of how technology can help us better understand and serve our customers.

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The social web and the opportunity for grocery retail

Last week, a panel at FMIConnect presented highlights from the final section of a major retail report on using the social web. Developed by grocery industry leaders for use by the industry, the report covers the topic in many dimensions. Michael Sansolo, the research director for the project, talks with us here about how the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council approached the project, what they learned from their latest research, and how they hope the complete report will be used by retailers.



Watching Walmart test and try new strategies

Watching Walmart test and try new strategies Walmart offered a vision of where food and grocery retailing is headed at its annual meeting that includes smaller formats and increasing ecommerce integration. Watching the largest retailer in the world test and try out different strategies to address changing shopper needs and behaviors raises some fascinating questions for the rest of us as we struggle to re-invent go-to-market strategies.

NEW FEATURE!!! Audio insights from Bill Bishop. CLICK HERE  to hear what Walmart's experiments mean for other grocery retailers.


Relay Foods raises the bar on the shopping experience

Relay Foods raises the bar on the shopping experience Online grocery has to be economic to work, but real success depends on delivering a superior shopping (user) experience. This is where the phrase “retail is detail” goes virtual, and Relay Food’s new website is a great example. Their commitment to a unique shopping experience is clear in a recent letter to users.


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How technology is taking retail back to the future

Stuart Armstrong was pushing the boundaries of using POS data at IRI to understand shopping behavior when I first met him. Today, he’s pushing the boundaries of using digital screens to communicate with shoppers inside stores at ComQi. I think he has important things to say about where we’re going with the technology-enhanced shopping experience, which changes in the retail environment are most transformative, and how retailers and brands are using interactive screens to build customer relationships.


Poncho: Narrowcasting shopper marketing efforts

Poncho: Narrowcasting shopper marketing efforts The Poncho app, now in pilot with Duane Reed, caught our eye because it nails the requirements for effective shopper communication. Shoppers want information that’s personalized and relevant ­– timely, interesting and useful for the task at hand. Messages that don’t meet these criteria won’t have much impact and risk being irritating.


Learning from Taiwan's convenience stores

Learning from Taiwan's convenience stores Taiwanese convenience stores use a success formula that retailers as diverse as Trader Joe’s and The Container Store have tapped into. It’s about having a different value proposition than other stores selling the same types of products, and about finding ways to “engrain” themselves into the communities serve. It's the same thinking that's laid out in the NACS/CCRRC Playbook for Success.

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Chicago: Four food shopping experiences

The shopping experience is becoming one of the key ways for food retailers to create competitive advantage as they try to stand out against the multitude of online and off-line choices consumers have today – it's also gaining importance because competing on price alone is getting more and more difficult. We went looking for concepts that other retailers could use directly or as a jumping off point for creating unique shopping experiences consistent with their own brands. Here are four that caught our eye.


How to Leverage Digital Influence to Grow Same Store Sales (Presentation)

Sustainable food retail growth depends on increasing same store sales.  Digital influence can help, but this requires a new approach to customer communications – one that provides a lot more than price and promotions and that delivers experiences that make shoppers want to engage and come back to the store again and again.


Farm Drop's effective online distribution system

Farm Drop's effective online distribution system It’s easy to come up with the idea of selling local food online. It’s  harder to get farmers, retailers, and consumers all “singing from same sheet of music” in order to create a cost-effective food distribution system. The beauty of Farm Drop – a new, UK-based online market that connects farmers directly to consumers – is that it simplifies the challenge with innovative approaches to compensation and distribution.


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New rules, new tools: How to survive the changes coming to retailing

tech toolsChanges in the retail environment are clearly accelerating! Against this backdrop, we asked Ron Lunde for his thoughts. Formerly a senior merchandising executive at Super Valu, Grand Union, and Price Chopper – and an SVP with Leo Burnett,  Ron is one person we know who can confidently address the ways in which digital is  profoundly changing the way we shop.