July 28, 2022
Retail Growth

Discovering the Secret to Digital Transformation Success

Sean Turner

In today’s growing and evolving retail environment, success is synonymous with delivering a seamless omnichannel experience to your customers. For retailers who want to edge out the competition, choosing to take the leap toward digital transformation is crucial. Here’s why…

As technology evolves—almost daily—digital transformation has quickly become a hot topic across most industries… and grocery retail is no exception. User-friendly mobile apps and websites complemented by analytic-rich retail media platforms have created a new list of “gotta-haves” for anyone who wants to keep up with their competitors, but what does it actually mean to be successful in the era of e-commerce and digital retail technology? More than you think.

Successful grocers know that providing a strong in-store experience isn’t enough. Modern shoppers expect a cohesive experience that extends beyond the walls of brick-and-mortar stores to where they spend most of their time: online and on their smartphones, and that’s where you need to meet them to thrive.

Meet Your New Tech-Savvy Shopper

In the past few years shoppers’ needs have changed, and technology has taken the front seat on their online-to-in-store shopping journey. Although 90% of today’s shoppers prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar grocery stores, e-commerce continues to gain traction as a fast, convenient, and seamless way to shop. According to a report from online grocery specialist Mercatus, e-commerce will account for 20% of the U.S. grocery market by 2026, so getting ahead of the trends should be front-of-mind for retailers who don’t want to lose customers to their online competition.

The truth of the matter is that shoppers don’t just want a great in-person experience or a convenient online shopping method —they want both. This new hybrid approach to shopping requires retailers to provide the best of both online and in-store options in order to meet consumers where they are while delivering the experience they’ve come to expect.

When you then factor in the reality that 90% of supermarket shoppers use their smartphones in stores—up from 67% in 2015—the need to dive into the digital technology pool becomes that much clearer. While most transactions are still happening at the physical store, shoppers have come to rely on their mobile devices to:

  • Check inventory and product availability
  • View store circulars
  • Access digital lists
  • Place online orders
  • Participate in loyalty programs
  • Redeem coupons

The bottom line? Whether they’re shopping in person or online, today’s customers want a connected, convenient, and highly-personalized shopping experience. And with roughly 294 million smartphone users in the U.S., it’s imperative that retailers have an impactful online presence.

Digital Transformation at Work

In grocery retail, balancing the best of both in-store and online experiences is better known as “taking an omnichannel approach.” Thanks to industry giants like Amazon, who wrote the book on delivering to evolving customer expectations, this integrated shopping ecosystem is no longer the exception but the rule.

In the brink-and-mortar world, successful grocery chains like Kroger and Whole Foods (acquired by Amazon) are among the most trusted retailers in the U.S. Why? Because they deliver a streamlined omnichannel experience that understands every individual shopper has unique needs and they address them accordingly.

By using robust analytics and first-party data that informs them of individual shopping habits and preferences, these front-of-the-pack retailers are able to connect with shoppers on a personal level, delivering the content and deals needed to cultivate lifetime loyalty.

So, what does this omnichannel experience look like in practice? Today’s shoppers walk into their local grocery store, smartphone in hand, with the world at their fingertips. They can keep track of what they need to buy with a digital shopping list, easily find items with in-store navigation, get personalized discounts and coupons in real time on their mobile app, and save time checking out with mobile checkout. All made possible by an innovatively-designed retail technology platform.

Embracing the Digital Future

In a digital world, your future business growth depends on your ability to embrace technology and give shoppers the modern omnichannel experience they expect. That’s where Swiftly comes in.

With a retail media technology partner by your side, creating a connected omnichannel journey for customers doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming. As a true technology partner, Swiftly provides you with everything you need to get started: a digital retail platform, mobile platform, retail media solutions, and rich analytics and insights that help you better understand customer behavior. Get in touch so we can help you fuel long-term success in the ever-evolving digital media landscape while creating an experience your customers will return for again and again.