Unified Commerce is the New Omnichannel

This is just one of the many realities that became clear at Groceryshop earlier this week in Las Vegas. Some of the other key headlines everyone in the grocery and CPG space can take away from the show:

  • AI is the new Metaverse… or is it? As expected, AI is a hot topic, but speakers and attendees are split. Some feel like the conversation has been blown out of proportion, others feel that it will improve productivity and make processes more efficient. In a Groceryshop session with our president, Sarah Engel, Tim Simmons, the Chief Product Officer of Sam’s Club pointed to specific AI innovations underway that will lead to a 70% reduction in certain associate tasks, freeing them up to focus more on customer interactions. 
  • Reskilling and upskilling are paramount to growth. As retailers, grocers, and brands begin to automate, few have figured out how to reskill and upskill their employees and the rest are trying to follow suit. It is a priority across the board to adopt new technologies while retaining their employees instead of replacing them. 
  • The digital imperative is ill-defined but still progressing.- There is immense pressure for digital innovation across all levels of an organization. Brands are responding to this by increasing their CIO’s involvement, elevating more digitally native individuals within a business, and focusing on building a culture of innovation.
  • Competitive pricing is still the most powerful conversion lever. Brand loyalty is waning and consumers are primarily seeking deals. This has spurred growth across private label brands and presents an opportunity for new brands to swoop in if they provide the value consumers seek.
  • Deeper customer understanding & diversification are key for brands to maximize revenue. The modern consumer is health conscious, values sustainability, craves convenience, and cares about the impact of the food they eat. Grocers must pivot and get creative in their offerings to capture these evolving behaviors.
  • Unified Commerce matters in every customer transaction (and therefore in every Groceryshop session). Consumers have come to expect their grocery needs to be fulfilled in person, for pickup, and via delivery, and they want a seamless experience across all three. They want consistency in offerings whether they are walking the aisles of a store or scrolling through an app. This emerged as a priority throughout Groceryshop and many retailers are investing in this element of the customer experience.

Thank you to the entire Groceryshop team for creating the paramount event and atmosphere for true learning, idea sharing and connections. These topics, and the realities of how companies implement them, will continue to evolve in the year ahead. We'll see you all at Groceryshop 2024!

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