Six months ago we looked at the rise of rapid delivery and other emerging technologies in retail. We revisit these trends and retail tech in this quick read, or if you prefer to watch or listen to the discussion:
We’ve packed a lot of thoughts into this quick read below and the video above. To learn more, get in touch to book in a chat with Sarah and Dan:
How have the trends we touched on in May played out since?
“Value has replaced convenience as the number one consideration of where to shop”, according to Giles Hurley, Aldi UK’s CEO. With food inflation in Britain now at 14.5%, it is hard to argue with this contention. Trends that rely on a readiness to pay the convenience premium now look vulnerable. Investors are demanding a pivot from profit to growth at precisely the moment when we as consumers are tightening our belts. The predictions about rapid delivery operators are playing out, with Getir looking to acquire Gorillas and Gorillas itself narrowing its focus from nine to five key markets. In Australia, Voly has paused its Melbourne expansion plans and closed half of its dark stores in Sydney. Its competitor Milkrun is reducing spend on rider pay and making higher margin alcohol products a bigger part of its offering.
What is happening in grocery and retail tech globally?
A global slowdown does not necessarily signal a pause in technical innovation. However, in the US, Kroger is using Everseen’s very advanced Visual AI platform to reduce customer friction, losses at self-checkouts and improve the customer experience at over 1,700 stores. The platform minimises errors arising from a failure to recognise barcodes or where products are not scanned and enables shoppers to resolve 75% of errors by prompting the shopper to self-correct. Kroger benefits from labour efficiencies but without suffering the shrinkage trade-off therefore customers enjoy a slick, efficient experience. In Europe, Polish retailer Zabka now has more than 50 checkout free stores across three formats and is now expanding into Germany.
Is detail still at the heart of retail?
“Retail is detail” is attributed to James Gulliver during his time working alongside Tesco founder Jack Cohen at Fine Fare and Safeway. These days, it’s arguable that retail is data, and getting the data right is critical to a positive customer experience. An example is ESELs (electronic shelf edge labels) are hugely advantageous to retailers during an inflationary period. When prices are rising very frequently and the workforce is not at full strength; they guarantee accuracy for shoppers and reduce the labour of making physical changes to shelves. Customers expect personalised offers and promotions that rely on a cache of data. Moreover, access to their groceries in the way that suits them best, whether that’s shopping instore or ordering online. Fundamentally, the details of retail – clean shops, availability, stock control, easy navigation, good visual merchandising. These are still the key parts of the customer experience that no operator can afford to neglect.
To learn more, get in touch to book in a chat with Dan and Sarah: