COVID-19 has unveiled areas of vulnerability in the grocery sector as customer expectations for contactless experiences has catapulted the slow-to-adopt industry into a period of mass reform. Forced to the frontlines of emergency response as essential businesses, grocers were challenged to respond to massive impediments in the supply chain, tend to consumers’ new expectations, and provide safe work environments for their employees. Almost overnight, grocers were expected to establish seamless and contactless unified commerce retail formats, where shopping for the 35,000 products shelved in the grocery store was made simple, swift, and safe. As the industry continues to adapt to meet expectations, here are the three retail innovations rising to the forefront of the grocery industry:
Click & Collect:
A convenient alternative to paying and waiting for delivery, BOPIS (buy online pick up in store) or BOPAC (buy online pick up at curb) offers a solution that reduces the number of shoppers in store, and keeps staff, and customers safe. Compared to other industries, grocery has seen the largest increase in online activity since mid-March when the pandemic emerged. According to Digital Commerce 360, 90% of brick-and-mortar retailers will offer BOPIS by 2021.
As growing concern for touching contaminated surfaces remains top of mind for many shoppers, contactless payment is rising to top of wallet. The use of contactless payments has grown by 20% since the start of the pandemic according to Richard Crone, CEO of Crone Consulting with a MasterCard study sharing that 8 in 10 consumers say they are using contactless methods due to safety and cleanliness concerns, and three-quarters will continue to use contactless post-pandemic.? To find out how you can implement contactless payment in your retail store, click here to learn more about our QR code Interactive Collection Experience.
On the rise long before the emergence of the pandemic, voice assistants provide retailers with a unique opportunity to cater to shoppers’ needs for contactless experiences with already trusted voice assistant devices. Though more inclined to use voice assistants in the home environment for playing music, finding recipes, or dimming the lights, shoppers can be easily trained to interact with voice assistants in-store. Voice technology also provides grocers with an intuitive solution to helping online shoppers navigate their website or app, and facilitate a seamless product journey. To find out how you can implement voice technology in your retail store, click here to learn more about our Voice Interactive Collection Experience.
As grocers and shoppers alike continue to navigate the evolving pandemic, it will be interesting to see how rapidly grocers can implement these technologies to stay ahead of shoppers needs.
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