GROWING YOUR BIZ Expert views on retail strategy, talent management and leadership development
Z W ith purchasing and fulfillment options growing for shoppers, grocers recognize today’s need to incorporate digital experiences to capture shopper attention. These initiatives can be extremely complicated to build in-house and require a substantial investment, so retail brands must turn to third-party vendors to quickly integrate and use digital initiatives.
However, in a rush to get a project off the ground,
some grocers aren’t asking themselves an important
question: Am I truly choosing the right partner for my
customers? Retailers who outsource the customer-facing component of the shopper journey can find
Sylvain Perrier is president
and CEO of Mercatus
Grocers must ensure third-party vendors are a good fit
for their brand and business. By Sylvain Perrier
On the Slippery Slope
themselves being disintermediated from their shoppers.
Therefore, grocers must ask how they can ensure service
providers are a good fit for the health of their brand and
long-term business interests.
Will Your Shoppers Remain Loyal?
A recent report by Barclays, Dissecting the Instacart
Addiction, found that 43% of Instacart users indicated
they would simply use Instacart with a different retailer
if their preferred grocer were no longer available on
Instacart. Additionally, nearly one-quarter of users
identified Instacart as their preferred way to shop.
Shoppers aren’t as innately loyal as we hope them
to be. This means that grocers must strive to reclaim
control with authentic shopper experiences that they
own—from start to finish and from store to door.
Are Partners Respecting Your Customer Data?
All retailers seek to work with reliable partners and
Ensuring a Healthy Partner Relationship
service providers. As the Barclays report points out,
“Partnerships are very ‘attractive’; shoppers get the
e-commerce options they are demanding while grocers
avoid immediate capital outlays and gain time to
solidify (assuming they even realize they need to) their
e-commerce strategy. But in the longer term we believe
partnering with Instacart creates a risk that grocers
lose control of their two key relationships: with their
customers and with their suppliers.”
According to Barclays, some partners might be
exploiting your customer data although they are
working in partnership with you. Maintaining an
experience with your shoppers can become difficult,
especially if you don’t have complete control of shopper
data. Your loyalty program, your ability to create
personalized offers online or in print, and your ability to
develop targeted digital marketing campaigns all rely
on these insights. Identifying reliable and trustworthy
partners that enable access and control of your brand’s
data is essential to maintaining customer satisfaction
and your company vision.
While some partners will take advantage of your trust
in them, the same can’t be said for everyone. An ideal
partner will work with you to ensure you maintain
autonomy over your systems and your relationship with
customers. To achieve this, grocers should consider the
Choose a Partner That Represents You: A
partnership is about trust, transparency and thoughtful
conversations about the direction that is the best fit
for your business. Instead of making a quick and easy
decision, pick a partner that, at the end of the day,