What does the future of drug stores look like? The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) offered answers this week at the 2016 Total Store Expo (TSE). EnterWorks with its Digital Foodie division answered the call for innovation, showcasing PIM solutions for on-demand commerce at the popular “Vision 2027” display.
Over 5,600 expo attendees converged in Boston for four days packed with NACDS programs and exhibits. The goal? To innovate together across departments and functions with an eye on advancing the total store experience.
So, let’s take a moment to recap highlights from the NACDS Total Store Expo.
Vision 2027: The Future of Drug Stores
The NACDS Expo featured the popular and futuristic “Vision 2027” exhibit hall. NACDS carefully selects participants for their insights and technologies highlighting the future of retailing.
NACDS selected EnterWorks and Digital Foodie for this year’s Vision exhibit. We showcased our converged solution, which is the first commerce and content platform for food, grocery and CPG companies.
Our platform offers unprecedented execution of end-to-end, content and commerce capabilities for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Furthermore, our solutions enable collaboration on a single view of enriched content, and power the personalized, on-demand experience today’s consumers expect.
In fact, as you’ll see from the key expo themes below, it’s more clear than ever before that on-demand commerce is playing a major role in the future of drug stores.
Key Takeaways and Themes from NACDS 2016
Personalization and loyalty are ever-important:
Personalization is particularly relevant for drug stores and pharmacies. According to a post-expo article by Deborah Weinswig, Head of Fung Global Retail & Technology, “they must constantly and consistently address individual needs, more so than in other areas of retail; it impacts health outcomes.”
Furthermore, loyalty programs are hitting home with drug stores where pharmacy customers return to fill prescriptions. Due to their unique position, Weinswig believes pharmacies will continue to invest heavily in loyalty programs to improve customer retention.
Retailers are strengthening their focus on in-store technology:
Retailers are focusing on the in-store experience to create differentiation from online retailers. As Weinswig points out, “Despite pushing digital integrations, drug store companies want the physical store to serve as the hub. Hence, stores are integrating personalization; in-store personalized recommendations, omni-channel; buy-online, pick-up in-store and mobile apps.”
Convenience and the customer experience are key:
Finally, the key to omni-channel success is convenience and a seamless customer experience. Weinswig surmises, “Omni-channel has been a focus for retailers for years, however, we believe only now are retailers starting to leverage the true nature of their digital and brick and mortar infrastructures to drive growth and improve customer experience.”
Areas where drug stores are leveraging omni-channel to satisfy customers include: ship-to-store, 30-minute delivery options, and curbside pick-up.
Meanwhile, on-demand grocery is gaining major momentum. According to an EnterWorks article recently published by FoodBiz, the industry saw more than $1 billion dollars in total investment funding for 2015. Food companies ranging from grocery stores to brand manufacturers, restaurants and food service, are all looking to seize this opportunity and respond to the consumers’ “want it now” demands.
Let’s Keep the Conversation Going
Many thanks to NACDS for another Total Store Expo. Along with our Digital Foodie team, we enjoyed the unique opportunity to share how our feature-rich, scalable enterprise platform is rapidly emerging as the leading solution in North America, having proven its strength in the competitive European digital grocery market.