Innovation Unleashed at Groceryshop 2019
Just over a week ago I attended Groceryshop in Las Vegas for the very first time. From the first session I attended on Sunday I knew one thing was certain, the innovation in the grocery CPG space is inspiring and completely game-changing. Listening to Target and other large retailers and brands talk about how they are launching new products and finding exciting ways to interact with customers was refreshing. I especially enjoyed the energy and excitement directed towards the startup businesses that were represented in both the speaking sessions and the expo hall. This was an excellent feeling, as Reputation Studio also took a space on Start-Up Street and spoke about review automation in the TechTalk. Throughout the four-day conference I took-in every opportunity to connect with industry leaders and educate myself on the future of the grocery CPG industry.
A few of the key takeaways that I think will have the most impact are the following:
Increased Popularity in Online Grocery
Grocery brands need to start thinking differently because there has been a huge growth in digital shopping. The merger of Amazon and Whole Foods fueled the growth of grocery eCommerce and delivery options. Shoppers are now becoming more comfortable purchasing grocery items online whether through a brand or retailer’s website and apps. The switch to consumer experiences going from the shelves in retail stores to the screen of a phone has made it clear that customer-centric brands should be investing a significant amount in online grocery if they want to stay ahead. The game is changing fast as more consumers discover the flexibility and ease of shopping online for either curbside pickup or delivery. Brands are embracing the digital space and discovering the endless opportunities for creating community, loyalty, and increasing sales!
Shoppers Are More Informed
With the growth of downloadable apps and quick searches, more customers are researching products before making purchases. Customers are reading online reviews, product Q&As, and reading brand descriptions. They care about new products, top-rated products, and want recommendations and answers so they have confidence when they purchase. This creates massive opportunities for grocery brands to improve product listings, offering, build loyalty, and get more page views. When a product has engaging content and high customer ratings and reviews it will perform better in search results. Reading reviews and Q&As is now part of the shopper’s journey and online reputation is taking up more of a brand's market share value.
New Opportunities to Engage
Insights from reviews drive positive change and allow you to improve products and bring new products to market that will be successful. Understanding your review dynamics helps you leverage the voice of customers and adjust offerings. eCommerce also brings many opportunities for personalization through past purchases, loyalty programs, upsells, and other interactions. It’s important to be involved in the conversations taking place online and show consumers that you are listening and that you care. The brands taking notice of every opportunity to respond to customers are not only finding more success in sales, they are also creating real relationships with their consumers.
Connected Commerce Through Digital Landscapes
Those brands who are asking customers for reviews, social follows, photo tags and engaging with customers on all channels are not only building trust and support -- they are creating a community. Customers love to share their experiences with purchases and many enjoy posting publicly for all to see. People seek out other shoppers insights to inform their purchases and gain more confidence to buy products, and justify spending more money. Customer feedback is fuel for the customer lifecycle funnel and thus create even more User-Generated content. This brings about a larger community of fans across various channels. Not only is UGC more authentic, but it’s also much cheaper in regards to your marketing efforts.
Digital Influence In-Stores
Digital content informs purchasing both in store and out of store. Consumers are seeking reviews and comparing products out prior to going to the store and even on their smartphones while browsing the aisles in-store. It’s not just about influencing point of purchase experiences anymore. Brands need to think about the entire digital journey, especially in relation to the shopper’s in-store experience.
Retail Giants are Paving the Way
The explosion of the digital experiences within the past few years has been greatly due to a few well-known retail heavy hitters taking charge. The impact that businesses like Walmart, Target, Amazon Fresh, Kroger, and Instafresh have had on the industry is mind-blowing. The number of retail locations and influence they have has dominated the markets. Adding in these digital experiences brings their innovation and more connected onlines experiences as they are now becoming more widely available.
How to Gain Success
First off, understand the opportunity is real and the time to act is now! Technology within the grocery space is accelerating fast so keeping up with the most advanced technology is in your favor. In 15 years, eCommerce could amount to up to a quarter of grocery business. It’s important to help consumers advocate for your brand. As a brand, you should be active and engaging on the platforms you want customers going to. Ask shoppers what they love about your products and tell them to post about it on social platforms and review channels. Monitor all review channels including product, location and app reviews to gain better insights. Lastly, continue to discover ways to interact and engage with customers. They want brand interactions to not only be completely seamless, but across all their customer touchpoints.
About Reputation Studio
Reputation Studio is the Online Reputation Management solution for household brands that leverages Natural Language Processing and AI to automate the cumbersome review management processes. Customer Experience and Brand Managers can improve their company’s reputation by understanding Consumer Sentiment and Intent, and respond to reviewers in real-time.