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Keep Up With The Changing Ways Consumers Shop For Groceries

Back in the day, a trip to the grocery store was something you didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about. You clipped coupons, scanned the aisles for an in-store sale and left. Those days are gone.

Shoppers are bombarded by an ever-growing assortment of brands and messages that causes confusion and anxiety. Variety isn’t necessarily the spice of life when it comes to grocery shopping. According to the Food Marketing Institute, there were an average of 7,000 items sold in a grocery store in the 1990s. Today, there are more than 40,000 items.

Couple that with multi-screen lifestyles — which can expose a person to 10,000 brand messages a day— and short attentions spans and marketers are left in a pickle.

Brands do a good job of talking about the importance of customer intimacy, but they seem to have forgotten what it’s like to actually shop for their products.

Marketers take note: Aggressive engagement that overloads already over-saturated consumers will likely backfire. Here are some ways to help your brand stand out in an overly-crowded grocery store.

1. Bring your brand story to life.  

Augmented and virtual reality will play an increasing role in a shopper’s experience by instigating impulse buys or hyping up consumers. 

2. Communicate your brand’s value at each and every customer touchpoint. 

Walk in your customers’ shoes to bring customer intimacy to life at every touchpoint throughout the customer journey. Give shoppers a reason to reach for your brand. Today’s value equation must take into account what you offer that meets the customers need for simplicity and meeting a human truth that improves their lives. 

3. Make the shopping experience as quick and easy as possible. 

This can be something as simple as digital coupons or more cutting edge like electronic shelf labels (ESL). ESLs are popular in Europe, with a slower adaption stateside. Kroger is testing ESLs in a variety of its supermarkets, making prices crisp and easy to read and even easier to change on the back-end. Whole Foods is testing a similar technology, dubbed Powershelf, in dozens of stores.

A potential next step would be the addition of beacons to the Powershelf. If a customer has the supermarket’s app downloaded, they would receive a beacon transmission for ketchup, for example, when nearing the condiment aisle. The store would determine how many beacons to use throughout, so a customer isn’t consistently beeping with discounts and distractions.

So what’s for dinner?

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