Grocery stores are experiencing unprecedented changes this year due to the pandemic. Sales are up—particularly online grocery sales—but retailers still count on shoppers coming inside the store, too. What’s more, retailers are also working hard to ensure their sales numbers stay up post-pandemic, when online orders may take a dip. Solutions that meet both of these challenges—getting people into the store, as well as keeping online orders up—involve streamlining and personalizing the shopping experience.
Driving shoppers into the store can be complicated right now, due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. Shoppers want to get their shopping trips done quickly, but it’s important for stores to make the experience engaging, too. Dan Sullentrup, global account manager for Hussmann Corporation, says, “Shoppers are looking to save time, so retailers need to help shoppers get in and get out of the store as efficiently as possible. Shoppers are looking for a dynamic in-store experience where they can find fresh products, be guided through the store and have a contactless store engagement.”
To increase satisfaction with in-store shopping, prepared meal kits and ready-to-assemble meals are a great way to get shoppers to try new things, says Ryan Petrick, Business Development for Hussmann Corporation. “Grouping meal items in one location,” he says, can answer “the age-old question of ‘what’s for dinner?’” In-store merchandising should keep up with trends—and thanks to their convenience, meal kits that simplify fresh-food prep are popular among shoppers this year.
By streamlining the shopping experience—putting corresponding ingredients near one another—as well as offering in-store pickup for online orders (which may spur customers to purchase other things they may have forgotten to order), retailers can ensure their customers are getting the best onsite grocery shopping experience.
In addition, with the rise in online ordering, retailers should also be heavily focused on personalizing and optimizing the online ordering process.
Online grocery orders have surged since April this year; consumers are cautious about spending time in public, and the ability to pick up groceries curbside is a huge benefit–but online grocery shopping can be a challenge for retailers. Staging and holding orders safely can be a struggle, especially if there is limited space to hold them. Sullentrup says, “Fulfilling online orders profitably seems to be the toughest challenge for retailers to manage internally today…Retailers need to become effective and efficient in order fulfillment. They need to know who is picking and how the order will be picked, where they will stage the order until the customer (or delivery driver) arrives and how they will get the order to the customer.”
Thankfully, Hussmann offers a range of solutions to meet the needs of any staging area, from roll-in and remote merchandisers to electronic shelf labels.
Petrick says, “Retailers across the country are trialing different methods with our products…We need to look at your entire store approach and the shopping changes you have experienced. Our team is working with retailers across the country that are trying to figure out what a new, post-pandemic store will look like.”
Sullentrup agrees, saying, “The top area of opportunity for streamlining online sales is to make the fulfillment process more efficient. Hussmann has launched its new eGrocery platform of solutions to help retailers improve the profitability of their in-store fulfillment for online orders with Smart Picking, Smart Staging and Smart Pickup/Delivery solutions.”
These solutions are designed to guide shoppers more effectively in the store or online to find the products they need, hold completed online orders in minimized floor space and allow the pickup of groceries 24/7—even at locations away from the retail store, with Hussmann Smart Exchange Lockers.
Streamlining the grocery shopping experience is more challenging when working with online orders, but innovative solutions from Hussmann make it a breeze. To learn more, visit hussmann.com.
This post is sponsored by Hussmann