5 Things to Look for in a Digital Partner

Unlocking online success rests on finding the right partnership.

Today’s grocers are stretched too thin. In a competitive landscape that has undergone radical changes in the last few years, managing inventory, employee drama, supply chain challenges, and maintaining vital customer service is a constant juggling act–and that’s not even mentioning digital marketing and technology integration! 

Whether it’s managing a website, digital coupons, social media, or mobile apps, even the best grocers have little time to spare from day-to-day operations. But thriving online doesn’t have to be impossible. For many, digital success is just a matter of finding the right partner. Someone who helps you navigate the digital landscape so you can channel your energy towards delivering exceptional products, services, and experiences to your valued customers.

Before embarking on your quest to find the right digital partner, you need to define what you’re looking for. Knowing what your objectives, needs, goals, and expectations are for this partnership. To help out, here is a quick list of things to look for in a partner that will help your store reach its full potential. 

1) Effective Communication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful partnership. Your digital partner should demonstrate clear and transparent correspondence that sets clear goals, collaborative strategies, and a fully customized approach that meets you exactly where you are. Each goal should be linked to KPIs that are intuitive to understand, with open channels of communication where questions are answered promptly and progress is tracked effectively. 

A study by McKinsey found that teams who are well-connected see a 20-25% boost in their productivity. By streamlining the exchange of information, ideas, and expectations, collaboration happens more efficiently. This works to remove the chance of accidentally duplicating tasks, causing costly misunderstandings, and prevents errors caused by misinterpretation.

2) Deep Industry Knowledge

To get the most out of your partnership, your digital partner needs to be more than just tech-savvy, they need to have a strong understanding of the grocery industry. Typically, industry knowledge is thought of through the lens of history, knowing what has worked or failed in the past. But given the fluid nature of the grocery business, a deep industry knowledge also means having a strong grasp on emerging trends and how they impact consumer behavior. 

It’s important to know that industry knowledge doesn’t happen overnight. As you explore partnerships, every vendor will ensure you that they know all about the industry and the specific struggles your stores face. That’s why it’s essential to take the time to research their experience with grocery stores, ask for case studies, and ensure that they have a proven track record of working with grocery retailers. 

3) Experts in Data Analytics

In today’s world, actionable data is essential for growth. Having a digital partner that excels in analytics and provides your business with invaluable insights can be a game changer in the unpredictable grocery landscape. With consumer preferences constantly evolving, understanding the patterns of what customers buy, when they buy it, and why they buy it is paramount. A proficient partner can help cut to the core of these trends and empower your business to make informed decisions in the future. 
A recent study found that retailers who utilize consumer analytics are 23 times more likely to outperform their competitors. This is because insight-driven approaches help provide a holistic boost to all aspects of your store. From smarter inventory management, more effective marketing strategies, and personalized customer experiences.

4) Seamless Integration

Integration can mean a lot of different things in a grocery store. A common problem among retailers is making sure that all of their digital channels are fully integrated. As new technologies develop, grocers have a tendency to add different platforms as they come out without proper strategies in place to manage and integrate them into their existing digital offerings. This creates a complex digital ecosystem that not only provides little value to your store but actually works to frustrate your customers. And when 60% of customers say they are unlikely to return to a store they had a bad customer service experience with, this disorganization can be costly!

But digital integration isn’t the only thing that matters. For grocery retailers, integration also means bridging the gap between in-store promotions and digital strategies. The in-store experience acts as a tangible connection with your customers, helping familiarize them with new products and reinforcing the digital messaging they see. Finding a partner that understands this connection will help you better connect with customers who are tech-savvy but still shop in a brick-and-mortar location. 

5) Trustworthy

Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” The internet is full of empty promises, and finding a trustworthy partner who is invested in your long-term success can feel impossible. A trustworthy partner brings expertise, experience, and a proven track record to the table. They not only understand the intricacies of the grocery industry but also possess the skills to translate this understanding into effective digital initiatives. 

When it comes to choosing a digital partner, it’s okay to be like Goldilocks and not settle for the first or even the second option. Take your time and find the one that’s just right. When you find the right one who has knowledge of your industry and can assist you on your journey, you’re able to focus more on what you do best –  running your business.

Contact Webstop today to see how we can help you along your digital journey.