There was a time when grocery technology, and customer expectation for that technology, was simple. Thanks to explosive growth and innovation in retail technology over the past decade coupled with the more recent dramatic changes in grocery shopping behaviors brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, those days are long, long behind us.
What does today’s grocery customer expect of your retail technology?
Fast and Accurate Checkout
Granted, providing fast and accurate checkout is not limited to your technology. Cashier training, the size and layout of the checkout area, scheduling, and other business processes all contribute to the speed and accuracy of the checkout process. That said, your point-of-sale (POS) technology certainly plays a role of honor in meeting customer expectations in this area. Shoppers place a high value on the speed of the checkout process with a 2018 Forrester study finding that 85% of respondents rated the speed of the checkout experience as important or very important to the shopping experience. The same study found that 70% of respondents reported abandoning a purchase with long checkout lines – reported as the most common reason for leaving the store. Accuracy, especially price accuracy is a critical customer service touch point that can also carry legal ramifications. Is your POS holding you back from delivering the fast and accurate checkout that your customers expect?
In a Gallup Poll conducted in July of 2019, 81% of respondents had never ordered their groceries online. In significant contrast, an Inmar survey reported on in Super Market News in May 2020 found that 79% of grocery shoppers now reported purchasing their groceries online. As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, online grocery sales experienced tremendous growth in 2020, representing 12% of all eCommerce sales and 7.4% of all grocery sales that year. In 2021, online grocery sales have continued well above pre-pandemic levels demonstrating that online grocery shopping is now a standard shopping habit. Customers look for curb-side collection and delivery but even in-store pick up for online orders is an attractive option. Online ordering capability is likely the type of functionality your customers expect you to offer, and if you are not there yet, implementing this capability may deserve place of priority in your strategic planning.
Customer preference for self-service checkout has been growing in recent years with a December 2018 survey by SOTI finding that 73% of respondents expressed an overall preference for self-service technology. The outbreak of Covid-19 added new pressure on retailers to provide self-checkout as customers sought safer options that limited their contact with other people. A survey conducted in the first months of the pandemic by Shekel showed that 87% of respondents preferred to shop in stores that offered touchless and robust self-checkout technology. Recent retail labor shortages have provided another compelling reason to invest in a self-checkout solution. If you are not currently offering self-checkout now may be the time to explore this capability.
The pandemic drove both retailer innovation and customer adoption of not just traditional self-checkout but also mobile self-checkout and mobile payment technology. Implementing a mobile checkout solution in lieu of or in addition to traditional self-checkout provides your customers with a convenient option run on the customer’s device rather than requiring additional in-store hardware. While there are many business and process considerations around implementing mobile self-checkout, this option can provide a great alternative for retailers who have not yet jumped into self-checkout or are looking to implement a solution that requires minimal floor space.
Ready to Take the Leap?
SAP Solutions by GK provide world class omnichannel customer experiences with a combination of retail solutions to meet the expectations of your customers in 2021 and beyond. The omnichannel Point of Sale Suite natively integrates with SAP S/4HANA® and SAP CAR and includes SAP OmniPOS by GK, OmniScale and Store Device Controller. Frictionless Checkout offers self-checkout and mobile payment capability, meeting customer demand for mobile checkout technology. Mobile Consumer Assistant ups your customer engagement game and comes with native integration to SAP Retail ERP, ecommerce, and CAR. Dynamic Pricing streamlines pricing and enables consistent price setting and automation across sales channels.
For more information on selecting and implementing the SAP solutions that will help your business meet the needs of today’s grocery customer, contact Rizing.