Guest Insights

How grocers can leverage data to perfect the omnichannel experience

Retail is going hybrid. In the wake of the pandemic, many customers are transitioning from their former all-online shopping habits to “hybrid shopping,” or rather, a mix of in-store visits and online shopping. And where the consumer leads, the investments follow. In a 2021 Deloitte survey of 1,000 global executes, 75% reported plans to increase investments in hybrid experiences over the next 12 months.

But the inherent value of omnichannel is nothing new to marketers. It seems like everywhere you look, there’s a study proving the incredible value of an omnichannel approach.

According to Harvard Business Review, 73% of consumers prefer shopping through multiple channels, with omnichannel customers spending 10% more online and 4% more in-store than single-channel customers. From a marketing perspective, omnichannel campaigns also drastically outperform single-channel marketing. In a study conducted by Omnisend, customer retention rates for omnichannel campaigns proved to be 90% higher.

How is the grocery industry pivoting to accommodate the growing preference for hybrid shopping? Let’s review emerging strategies—and the data you need to launch your own successful omnichannel approach.

Omnichannel in action 

Digital tools are taking the lead in helping major grocery players cater to the hybrid shopper. For example, grocery chain Albertsons recently announced over a dozen tech-based initiatives and tools to better connect the online and in-store shopping experience, including:

  • Scan-and-pay mobile tool
  • Online meal planning
  • One-hour delivery scheduling
  • Ready-made meal delivery
  • Telehealth services
  • Weekly budget helper online tool
  • “Recipe discussion” in-app tool

And more 

Instacart, for their part, decided to launch a series of in-store tools, including electronic shelf tags, smart carts and digital list building after gathering insights from hybrid shoppers according to CEO Fidji Simo.

These tech-based omnichannel efforts all serve to boost ecommerce profitability. According to Raley’s Head of Ecommerce Zachary Wilson, the store’s omnichannel customers spend two to three times more and have larger online baskets. 

But only with the right data 

For grocers of any size, uniting the online and in-store shopping experiences promises a boost in online sales. An omnichannel approach also helps to meet shoppers where they are in terms of overall retail trends. But simply buying or developing a tool won’t deliver the results you’re after unless it caters to your customer base’s specific needs and preferences. And for that, you need data.

Albertsons, for example, reported relying heavily on technology investments and customer data to create and launch their suite of tools. The right breadth and depth of customer insights will help you not only choose the right tools and capabilities to add but also inform the product recommendations the tools themselves serve up to customers. 

Solve the “unknown” problem first

Before you can bring together in-store and online shopping experiences with data, you also need to make sure your insights are balanced on both sides. Many brick-and-mortar operations lack the sophisticated tracking abilities readily available to the ecommerce side of the business.

Consider the following before leveraging your existing data set:

  • Do you know who shops in your store? 
  • Can you identify the individual behind the in-store transaction in a privacy-safe way? 
  • To what level of granularity can you track in-store seasonality, basket size, purchase history and other key SKU-level metrics?

While loyalty program data can provide some of these data points, unless a vast majority of customers enroll, you won’t have a complete view of your in-store customers. With these limitations, brick and mortar retailers often struggle to understand purchases across all customers. In turn, they cannot personalize communication to the vast majority of customers and lack insight into marketing’s actual impact on sales.

Before you can create a more seamless omnichannel shopping experience, you need to make sure you’re operating from a reliable data set when it comes to the in-store side of your business. 

Take the first step toward hybrid convenience with Bridg

We help brick and mortar retailers identify all customers that visit their physical locations, including loyalty and non-loyalty, and understand what items they’re purchasing. We can also help target these individuals via virtually any digital channel and transparently measure campaign impact utilizing POS data.

Using our insights, grocers like you can drive personalized offers based on actual purchases, preferred items, frequency, price sensitivity, promotional history, daypart and channel preferences via virtually any digital channel. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve your omnichannel marketing efforts.

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