Analysts and naysayers have predicted the collapse of brick and mortar retail shopping for several years, as merchants struggle to compete with the ease and convenience of online shopping.
Grocery stores seemed exempt from the fight, until local delivery services sprang up, making it possible to order perishable items and have them delivered to your doorstep.
To compete with this rising trend, grocery retailers are fighting back, turning the task of grocery shopping into an in-store experience that draws consumers back to the store.
Their efforts are working. A 2017 survey revealed that over 70% of consumers had not placed an online order for groceries in the preceding three months. The reason? 48% of them said they enjoyed shopping for groceries more in-person.Shoppers who venture grocery stores today are looking for an experience, and savvy marketers will find innovative ways to offer their consumers the experience they’re seeking.
Interactive cooking demos and local celebrity chef appearances have become standard fare for grocery stores.
Another growing trend among consumers is the demand for locally sourced, organic products. Grocery stores can capture these consumers by partnering with local suppliers to highlight their wares. In-store demos which use local products can showcase the versatility of food, while giving shoppers the inter-personal experience they desire.
Part of the shopping experience is the social aspect. Personal interactions are what gives consumers the “wow” factor in their shopping and are what drives consumer loyalty and enthusiasm. If you’ve been on the receiving end of outstanding customer service, you have likely raved about it to everyone. Click To Tweet Those interactions rarely occur in the in-personal world of online shopping. Create opportunities for these moments to occur by cultivating an environment that prioritizes customer service.
Does your store invite consumers to feel at home in the store? Creating an inviting area where consumers can enjoy one of your grab-and-go options before shopping is an easy, cost-effective way to encourage consumer experiences.
Culinary Product Demos
Introduce consumers to new products, new techniques, or regional specialties through product demos. Offer cooking classes presented by local celebrity chefs which mimic popular cooking shows. Host ‘date night’ events, where consumers can purchase tickets to an interactive cooking and dining experience.
Grocery store retailers wanting to draw consumers back to their brick and mortar stores need to look beyond efficiency and create experiences.
How will you invite consumers to experience your store?
Sarab Hans is President of Hans Dairy