Digital transformation is affecting every aspect of shopping, from online to in-store.
This jump in sales presents many changes, each of which has an impact on the overall system.
First, digital grocery is not as profitable as brick and mortar. When e-commerce was only a tiny portion of sales, no one put much thought into how to improve it. But now that it is eating away at profits, grocers have no choice but to consider investing in digital. Investments in automation, micro-fulfillment, product picking efficiency, and delivery alternatives, such as curbside pickup and geocoding, are increasing.
Second, digital grocery can present obstacles to serendipitous discoveries by the customer. Grocery chains — pre- and post-COVID — rely on in-store samples to highlight new products. When customers buy online, they often buy from a tailored list curated through many micro-moments, reducing the likelihood of unplanned purchases. In the current environment, grocery chains are working to enhance the digital discovery experience to help close this gap. Using consumer data and AI to give samples and pre-packaged sample-size items are just two ways grocers have started to adopt this new method of enhancing the likelihood of serendipitous discovery.