The past two years have brought unique challenges that have made it difficult for any grocery retailer to be the best in anything, let alone Fresh. While supply chain disruptions and labor shortages have always lurked in the wings, the pandemic exacerbated these issues. To top things off, many businesses found technology to be the answer to many of these issues. However, the grocery industry has traditionally been slow to adopt technology, including grocery analytics, and rapid digitization has also been a challenge.
However, with every difficulty lies opportunity. We explored these opportunities in a webinar hosted by Winsight with Invafresh Freshologist, Muntazir Mehdi and Chris Dubois from IRI. The webinar, “Be Best in Fresh: Leveraging Analytics to Lower Operating Costs, Align Stakeholders and Drive Action,” discussed various topics, including the use of grocery analytics and automation to overcome macroeconomic challenges. Additionally, we explored how grocery retailers can leverage technology that the competition is sleeping on to take advantage of unique opportunities and come out on top.
Here are some of our takeaways from the event.
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Adoption of Grocery Analytics is Hard but Necessary
As mentioned earlier, the grocery industry has traditionally been slow regarding digital transformation and adopting new technologies. However, this phenomenon is keeping grocery retailers away from innovating, which is a huge mistake right now. As consumer demands continue to change, grocers have no choice but to start implementing different technologies to innovate ways to meet the needs of their customers.
For any business to achieve any desirable outcome, they need to be constantly evolving. To do that, you need metrics that effectively monitor progress and can identify gaps on an ongoing basis. While difficult because it is such a significant cultural shift, implementing the use of grocery analytics enables grocers to do this.
Today’s Purchasing Behavior Will Exacerbate
2030 will mark a significant turning point, with a boomer to millennial shift, where most shoppers will be under 40. What we’ve learned over the pandemic is that this millennial group is comfortable spending more on fresh foods online than older shoppers. We’ve also seen, with this group, a preference to cook from home and use more recipes and instructions. This presents a massive opportunity for grocery retailers; however, they will need to lean on technology and grocery data analytics to meet the shoppers where they are. It is essential to note that the millennial shopper doesn’t quite yet have the power of older shoppers. For the time being, grocers need to find a way to tie the in-store experience with the online experience.
Grocery Analytics Have a lot of Unrealized Potentials.
As online sales continue to influence the grocery retail experience, having access to accurate data will be critical in managing inventory, optimizing labor, and other operations. For example, if certain fresh items are selling well online, there is potential for this to interfere with stock available to in-store shoppers. Decision automation, and assistance through AI and grocery analytics, specifically, have unrealized potential in demand forecasting.
While no system is perfect, having this technology in place would assist with maintaining perpetual inventory despite volatile demand and shifting assortments and minimize any risks associated with the example mentioned above. Grocery analytics also has shown the potential to improve computer-generated ordering, traceability, and commissary operations.
A Fresh Approach to Grocery Analytics
Invafresh’s Fresh Retail Platform is the only centralized platform solution on the market specifically designed for the perimeter store. Cloud-based and compatible with all devices, analytics is built-in to the core of the solution. Having one trustworthy data source enables grocery retailers to quickly perform in-depth analyses of their data to reveal sales trends and other insights that can drive more informed decision-making.
Grocery retailers need to adopt new tools and strategies to be the best in Fresh today. While it may be difficult, it’s clear that yesterday’s practices don’t meet the demands of today. Implementing AI and grocery analytics into your tech stack is the first step to streamlining and elevating your fresh food processes to win in Fresh.