By Tomas Granö
Did you know 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a personalised experience? With a multitude of benefits, personalisation is now becoming a key differentiator for the grocery sector. Not only does it improve the customer experience, it also helps retailers to reduce costs and develop loyal customer bases.
It had been a particularly lucrative period for grocers, with a £4.9 billion increase over pre-pandemic forecasts. But as profit margins for grocers grew, so did customer expectations. Fast forward to 2022, consumers have become accustomed to convenient, personalised and frictionless shopping experiences. In this blog, we explore why data and personalisation will be key differentiators for grocers to meet consumer demands moving forward.
Data as a key differentiator
Customers are becoming increasingly used to a seamless purchasing experience. But for the grocery sector, getting this right can be challenging. Customers will often shop across multiple stores, as a result of factors such as convenience, price and location. Therefore, supermarkets need to focus on building loyalty. This can be achieved by harnessing the power of data and by offering personalised shopping experiences.
Successful personalisation starts by establishing a data-driven planning strategy, to ensure that the right products are available at the right locations, whether that’s online or in-store. Grocers are then well equipped to deliver personalisation for their customers, with huge databases that inform them where people shop, which actions they take, the devices they use and where problems may arise. Supermarkets can use this intelligence to craft a personalisation strategy that is centred around trust, and in turn, this will help to drive customer loyalty.
How this data can be used
A subscription-box model gives grocers the perfect opportunity to combine data with personalisation. Various start-ups, like Gousto and HelloFresh, have dominated the market so far for subscription recipe boxes. Yet supermarkets have an advantage over current market leaders, as they already have a sophisticated fulfilment infrastructure in place. This means that the shift to a subscription-based model is much more of a logistical one as opposed to financial. This model also has the potential to be a highly profitable stream of revenue, enabling current customers to benefit from personalised services such as recipe suggestions or product recommendations, all of which are great for boosting loyalty. Further cost savings can be made by allowing better forward planning on orders, which helps to optimise the last mile.
Grocers can also use data to personalise the traditional purchasing experience. An example of this could be offering pre-populated baskets that utilise a customer’s shopping history to offer relevant, tailored suggestions that can help in boosting customer experience and retention. Whilst these changes are not drastic, this service is currently a relatively untapped space for supermarkets – the ones who are proactive will be the ones who stand out in today’s crowded market.
It’s clear that grocery retailers need to prioritise both personalisation and data if they want to stay ahead of the curve. With data at the heart of their personalisation strategy, grocers will be able to predict and react to customer trends, and better understand how external factors can influence and shape the retail landscape.
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