In its inaugural year, the Groceryshop conference was met with significant enthusiasm from an audience who recognizes their industry is at a tipping point.

Held at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas (by the talented organizers of ShopTalk), the event brought together over 2,200 attendees from CPG brands, supermarkets, c-stores, drug stores, discount stores, e-commerce players, warehouse clubs, grocerants, and non-traditional grocery retailers.

Sessions provided critical insights into the challenges and opportunities around shopper habits, how stores will operate, and why grocers and brands must address a rapidly-changing industry – or get left behind.

Top Takeaways from Groceryshop

In part one of the Groceryshop Takeaways article, we’ll look at three key themes from the show.

#1: Interest Gives Way to Urgency

The atmosphere throughout the conference was one of urgency. There is an overwhelming sense that grocers need to catch up in regards to the digital and consumer experience initiatives that the rest of retail has already embraced.

Grocers are no longer asking “why should we do it,” but rather “how do we do it” to avoid losing out to competitors who are already on a transformative path.

#2: Rapid Expansion of E-commerce

At Groceryshop, research group IGD shared new data showing that online grocery is set to increase at a rate of 20 percent, reaching $59.5 billion by 2023.

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods lit a match under grocery e-commerce growth, and it continues to be fueled by the rollout of click-and-collect services and delivery options provided by third parties like Instacart.

Grocers and brands must focus on expanding their reach to create richer shopping experiences across channels…which brings us to the next key takeaway.

#3: It’s Really All About Omnichannel

As a see, smell, touch, taste industry, grocery is rooted in the physical store – which makes the omnichannel experience even more critical. Instacart Founder Apoorva Mehta drove home the point at Groceryshop, saying, “For the long term, brick-and-mortar retailers are here to stay, but customer preferences are also changing and grocery retailers need to adapt.”

Today’s omnichannel grocery landscape is valued at over $1 trillion – a 2.6 percent increase YoY. Grocery retailers must increasingly focus on melding physical store formats with mobile and online experiences (and use data to leverage consumer insights) in order to attract shoppers and retain loyalty.

Case in point: Buying online is a product-focused purchase, whereas buying in-store is a discovery process of browsing that often ends in impulse purchases. Online activity can be leveraged to drive shoppers into the store where average transaction sizes are bigger.

The grocery industry is in a truly unique position – it is primed for growth and transformation perhaps like none other.

During our discussions with food and CPG leaders, we spoke about how Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) can enable digital and omnichannel consumer experience initiatives to help grocery companies capture this growth and stay competitive.

Stay tuned for Part Two of Groceryshop Takeaways, where I present tactics for elevating the consumer experience, and how to more effectively reach 85 percent of all shoppers.

Kerry Young

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.

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