08 Mar The Irish Grocery Store 2030. What Can We Expect?
Photograph: “The English Market” by William Murphy
The new tech-savvy consumer isn’t happy. He wants a better experience in physical stores as his expectations have risen due to conditioning from online retailing. He wants instant gratification. He demands faster transaction times (far less queueing) and better interactions/service from the shopping trip. His online shopkeepers know his name and his likes. They know what he bought last time and can suggest things he’d like today. Ol’ “Brick’s ‘n Mortar” isn’t trying hard enough.
This trend applies to all retailing. “If I can buy the product online at a lower price in half the time, you’d better have a good reason for me to visit your store”. Amazon has realised this hence Amazon Go.
In addition, as other retail sectors use technology to improve their in-store and omni-channel support, traditional grocery services will come under pressure to modernise.
If we add these additional demands to existing grocery trends, Store 2030 should have the following attributes:
1. Quicker and easier transactions leading to more time to be discerning where it matters. Click ‘n collect and online ordering should also be offered to further this objective. This will be enabled by advances in both in-store and online technology (e.g. RFIDs).
2. New shopper services – to appeal to the precious online consumer who wants “custom” services and personalisation. These will be crucial to tip the balance back to the physical stores.
3. Smaller Store Size – Smaller is the trend. Why? An ageing demographic (older people don’t like wandering around warehouses!) and a reduced net retail space requirement (due to more backroom services like online & click ‘n collect).
4. Different Category Mix – As produce that aren’t suited to delivery or collection become the differentiator of the store, it’s only logical to assume physical stores will put these front and centre. Think stores with fresh/premium food front and centre and click ‘n collect ambient services out the back.
5. Convenience – Location will be even more important – close to residential zones with good access for quick collection. This will be furthered by the grocery store’s new function as a central pick-up point through deals with parcel delivery companies. Brick n’ Click retailers will also have to consider more than catchment demographics in planning networks and take a multichannel location view.
So, the 2030 grocery shopper will want to transact very quickly, in smaller stores, get click n’ collect/delivery services for their ambient and bulk products and spend more time on the inspection produce – veg, meat and fish. They won’t have to travel far to their multi-service convenience hubs, where they will be regaled by a host of new and innovative in-store experiences.
Who said the Millennials were spoilt!