News Feature | November 27, 2013

Grocery And Convenience Store IT News For VARs — November 27, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

BSM-Trending Up

This week, a report says optimism among fuel consumers is good news for convenience stores and online grocery shopping is increasing.

Lower Fuel Prices Increase Consumer Optimism

According to the most recent NACS Consumer Fuels Report, gas consumers’ optimism has increased since October. According to the results of the October survey, 27 percent of consumers were somewhat optimistic about the economy. However, in the most recent November report, 33 percent were recorded saying they were somewhat optimistic. A majority of customers (58 percent) also feel that gas prices will either remain the same or be lower in the next 30 days. Convenience Store News cites NACS VP of Government Relations John Eichberger saying that the 35 cents per gallon drop in gas prices is positively impacting customers’ spending habits.

5 Steps For Online Grocery Success

Daymon Worldwide released its “Grocery Retailing Goes Digital” whitepaper, which provides five key steps your retail customers should follow to compete in the e-commerce market. According to Daymon Worldwide CEO, Carla Cooper, online grocery retail is growing rapidly — nearly twice the rate of any other industry. While there will never be a single solution that fits all businesses, there are several steps that shopper-centric grocery retailers should follow. These suggestions include linking digital and physical shopping experiences and re-imagining the notion of service. Retailers can provide information, recommendations, and ratings on food products online to help overcome in-store limitations and get people online. Similarly, taking advantage of online features that create “endless” aisles, are easily browsed, and easily updated can help customers search out new items.

Grocery Online Strategies Should Rely On Segmentation

Progressive Grocer discusses the results of Fusion Marketing’s Consumer Insights research. According to the results, while consumers download supermarket apps, the majority of customers are hesitant about personalized ads tailored to their shopping patterns. These consumers also claim that sending retail offers via text-message is too invasive. However, non-specific retailer digital coupons are popular, preferred by 54 percent of those surveyed. President of Fusion Marketing, Steven Muro, says that the number of people interested in online grocery shopping will increase as Millennials come of age. Muro suggests using interactive, 3D game-like product imagery to best appeal to and interact with this important age group. However, he also says that grocery stores need to be more flexible and have different strategies to target other generations as well. In order to do this, retailers would need to make sure its strategies rely on the technology that each generation uses the most.

Mobile Key For Consumers To Control Shopping Experiences

According to a survey launched by Symphony EYC, 88.5 percent of shoppers with smartphones had not used the phone to purchase groceries in the past year. However, of those who had, 60 percent claimed that receiving personalized promotions would make online shopping easier. While Fusion research above revealed consumers found these services invasive, 62.2 percent of those surveyed by EYC weren’t as concerned about this data profiling. Younger generations were more trusting of giving stores their information, compared to older generations who were less trustworthy. In addition, price comparison tools are one of the most in-demand features customers would like to see in a grocery store mobile app.

Grocery And Convenience Store IT Talking Points

Jennifer Bulat for CSPnet reveals six consumer trends affecting convenience stores. In addition to remaining uncertainty about the volatile job market, changing demographics, digital advancements, and increasing numbers of “no compromise customers” are changing the c-store landscape.

Grocery Headquarters discusses the findings from the recent Packaged Facts “Americans in 2020” report. The report reveals that the boomer generation and seniors over age 65 will increase to 56 million by 2020. To succeed, retailers will need to build relationships with this consumer segment, which is often affluent and loyal. Similarly, the Hispanic population and women operating single parent households/delaying marriage continues to increase and shape the retail landscape.

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