No doubt, the grocery store industry has been focused on customers for generations. Many of your customers still fondly remember a milk truck chugging up their driveway as the local milkman made a delivery directly to a customer’s front door. Funny how times have changed, but service demands haven’t. We find ourselves back in a place where home deliveries are a current grocery shopping trend.
Customer-centricity will always be vital to grocers. There is a particular customer-centric niche for smaller, independent grocers who are expected to offer a more personal touch than bigger chains and box stores. Giving customers a positive experience, before, during, and after their sale, drives repeat business, encourages customer loyalty, and increases profits.
Research shows that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies that are less focused on their customer.
Check Your Grocery Customer-Centricity
To be clear, customer-centricity means more than just great customer service. It means putting your customer at the core of every decision you’re making. Are they getting a great experience at every step? From awareness to purchasing, all the way through the post-purchase process, have you made the customer the hero of your business? That’s what they are, after all. I don’t mean to overstate the obvious, but without your customers, you don’t have a business. That puts them in a pretty significant role.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best—how would you rate your Grocery Customer-Centricity? Think about your customers’ user experiences at every step.
A Reality Check
The reality is, most companies don’t have enough of the necessary factors in place to be a “10” on the customer-centric scale. Partially because customers are always changing. Millennial grocery shopping habits are much different than those of their parents or grandparents.
Being customer-centric means keeping up with the latest grocery shopping trends, which isn’t an easy task. Trying to anticipate your customers’ needs and satisfying them with products and services they may not even know they need—well, that’s a tall order. However, a customer-centric grocer offers products, processes, policies, and an overall culture that is designed to support customers with a great experience.
Hopefully, you’ve rated yourself at a 6 or above on the Grocery Customer-Centricity scale. Maybe, even as you’re reading this article, you’ve identified areas where you can improve. At least customer-experience is something you are recognizing as a value in your business. If so, you are at a great launching point for taking customer-centricity to a whole new level.
Optimizing Your Customer-Centricity
When you put your customer at the core of your business and then add digital analytics, you collect a wealth of data that gives you a full, 360-degree view of your customer. That information can be used to enhance your customer engagement and, ultimately, increase your profits.
With customer-centric analytics, grocers receive data about a customer’s specific buying behavior, interests, and engagement. This allows the store to identify opportunities to suggest products and point to specific sales or promotions that will entice the shopper. A customer wants to feel known, so data provides the means to give them coupons that appeal to their regular purchases or content (recipes, videos, blog articles) that help them solve common problems.
Executing a digital customer-centric strategy takes time, but the payoff is high.
The Next Step Is Simple
Acquiring new customers is becoming more difficult. It is much more cost-effective to keep existing customers engaged. However, on average, companies are losing around 10% of their existing customer base each year, in part due to customer culture shifts. There are simple steps to take in order to make a shift towards becoming a truly customer-centric operation. After all, even the smallest changes in processes have proven to produce significant benefits for both store operations and customers.
Technology like Webstop’s Digital Circular Plus can build customer relationships that are designed to maximize engagement. The tools within its fully integrated technology make customer-centric analysis, planning, and implementation possible. Its technology even provides metrics that help measure customer-centricity. It provides the insights behind keeping up with the latest grocery shopping trends and keeping your customer feeling like the hero of your business.
Being a customer-centric grocer is the key to maximizing customer value. If you see the importance of combining a great customer experience with customer-focused data and analytics, then it’s time to take the next step to become the ultimate customer-centric grocer.