Retail Foodservice

Supermarket Retail at the Tipping Point

Consumer using laptop to grocery shop
Photograph: Shutterstock

We regularly hear about the exponential growth of technology-fueled innovation but often don’t stop to really consider its implications. And yet, a recent flurry of stories drives home that the industry is indeed at a tipping point and that change and disruption are accelerating—fast.


Unsurprisingly, Amazon is on the move. Recent stories report the company is signing dozens of store leases in multiple markets as it opens up its new grocery chain. Amazon is also bringing its Amazon Go technology to hundreds of other locations as it partners with movie theaters, sports venues and other retail stores. And the company’s Alexa footprint is growing fast as well, with Amazon releasing new devices and entering into deals with auto manufacturers and others.


In a recent Forbes article, retail executives confidentially shared that “consumer adoption of online grocery shopping, currently somewhere between 3% and 4%, will explode by seven times or more, to over 20%, and many said much higher. The same people also said that the grocery retailers currently at the top of the industry now will not be the leaders in the online grocery business in five to 10 years.”


Retail competition has shifted from mass promotion to a guerrilla battle being waged over share of wallet and lifetime value at the individual-shopper level. Birdzi, the supermarket industry’s only comprehensive customer engagement platform, is uniquely positioned to help regional retailers join the battle.


Digital customer engagement is far more than just online shopping


Online shopping today is a small part of retailers’ total sales, but even as it grows to 20% or more of sales, shoppers coming into the store will still account for the majority of sales and profits. Numerous studies show that a majority of grocery sales are influenced by digital somewhere along the path to purchase. Birdzi has found that digitally engaged shoppers across its platform are better retained over time, spend more per trip and shop more frequently.


To generate results, personalization must be strategic


Refining the store’s existing weekly ad to communicate a subset of offers to a specific customer based on their past purchases is becoming routine and provides no added value to the shopper beyond helping guide them to a relevant mass promotion. Given that retail competition is now being waged at the individual customer level, retailers must think and act strategically, understanding what promotions and discounts are required to grow share of wallet and lifetime value for each customer. 


Retail success: Fueled by data


Contextual relevancy is driven by vast customer and product data attribution. Birdzi’s platform has been built to automatically calculate and maintain several hundred attributes on each individual customer, updated with each purchase. Those attributes are then used to drive machine-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) models that predict behavior and customer lifetime value. What’s more, the platform is built to ingest thousands of attributes across customers and products to drive industry-leading customer engagement.


Retailers not moving quickly enough

Nearly half of the top 50 supermarket retailers in the U.S. lack comprehensive customer-identified transaction data, and nearly all retailers lack sufficient data attribution at the customer and product level to effectively compete at the individual customer level. Birdzi provides the next-generation platform purposely built for the next generation of retail competition.


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This post is sponsored by Birdzi