Supermarkets need to reinvent themselves, as shopping behaviour has moved online and the competition is changing drastically. The focus nowadays is not as much on products as it is on experience and more technology.
Buying in bulk goes online
Fewer people are planning a Saturday trip to the supermarket to buy groceries nowadays and even though online food sales are still small, FMCG purchases in bulk will most likely increasingly move to an online structure, according to Symphony Retail Ai experts. This company specializes in AI-based retail solutions. On top of all these changes, consumers are also buying more prepared meals instead of ingredients.
Add an altered competitive field to that: major price competition, more private labels, increased competition from discounts that merge low prices with effective shopping, Amazon’s lofty ambitions, … In order to become future-proof, the physical supermarket will need to undergo radical changes, even in the near future.
The basics? A smaller product range, because consumers can get the supermarket’s full range online. A dozen of carefully selected SKUs will most likely suffice per item category, which is basically convenience and quality for the consumer. Everything else is presented with touch screens and picked up at a later date.
Foodcourt in the center
The supermarket of the future will not have as many aisles and shelves. Currently, the dry food aisles are the heart of any supermarket, the so-called “center store”, but that will make way for a food court with fresh meals and a location to eat and drink in the supermarket itself. An entire section can present new products that change twice a week to surprise customers. A farmers’ market with local suppliers can also become very attractive to consumers.
At the same time, technology will have a major role to play: the pick-up formula will become the focal point. 3D navigation, where consumers can mirror their grocery list on their smartphone to the store layout, can facilitate the trip to the store. Customers will also get personalized product offers thanks to artificial intelligence. Traditional cash registers will also disappear because self-scanning and cash register-free payments will take over.