The hypermarket industry is in a state of flux, much like most other consumer facing industries today. With the rise in adoption of digital and mobile technologies, consumers are getting used to seamless and connected cross channel experiences provided by innovative brands who are making the most of these technologies. Consumers now live in an EasyVerse™ and expect such easy experiences everywhere.

Many retailers today, are ill-equipped to meet the needs of the ‘always on’ digital consumer. According to a Nielsen survey, only 7% of grocery retailers rated themselves as having the skill sets to succeed in digital. Not rising up to consumer experience demands and a lack of presence across channels may hurt hypermarkets in the long term, especially considering the low profit margins the industry in known for.

How then can you drive higher long term profitability with your hypermarket business, and maximise the potential your business has? It’s all about doing a few things, but doing them really well while ensuring what you’re doing is really well known among your consumers.

Let’s look at four areas where you can to focus to help push your hypermarket towards hyper growth.

Be Available, Across Channels

While it’s established that having an online presence is important, just having an ecommerce website is not going to cut it anymore. You can’t go about this with a “build it and they will come” approach. Tech forward consumers can quickly find out if an application or service is adding any value to them. While you develop digital initiatives, you need to consider if you’re creating value and clearly communicating this value to your consumers.

Creating a connected and seamless omnichannel shopping experience is a strategic priority for many grocery retailers in 2018.

Therefore, it is a must for hypermarket businesses to leverage their physical and digital assets to optimize the consumer experience they’re providing. Creating a connected and seamless omnichannel shopping experience is a strategic priority for many grocery retailers in 2018.

Apart from having an ecommerce website, hypermarkets are also investing on additional digital touch points such as a mobile ordering app, and ordering through home assistants such as Alexa, and Google Home etc. Allowing consumers to buy what they want from your inventory through endless aisles in store doesn’t just result in customer satisfaction but it also helps you mitigate loss of sale due to stock-outs.

Another popular way hypermarkets are elevating in-store consumer experience is through store associate apps, which can empower your frontline staff with additional information on products, availability of products, nutritional advice, recommendations, and even a single view profile of the customer so they can best serve them. Such solutions can bring the convenience and personalisation of online shopping to brick and mortar hypermarkets. They can help you increase engagement levels, dwell time and eventually basket size. Once such touchpoints have been established, the challenge lies in providing a consistent experience across all these physical and digital touchpoints.

Make Experiences Connected and Operations Efficient

Consumers today want, what they want, when they want it. This is especially true for hypermarkets where the increased demand for localised products and convenience means businesses have to fulfil consumer expectations through on-demand, hyperlocal delivery. But the last mile has always been the greatest challenge for hypermarkets that have gone online and its optimisation will continue to be a priority for 2018.

Providing consumers with multiple methods of purchase and fulfilment can go a long way towards consumer satisfaction as studies have pointed out, consumers are interested in online ordering, pick up in-store, and home delivery based on what is convenient for them at the time. There is also an increased preference for same day delivery. Offering multiple delivery options and providing consumers with the option of scheduling the time of delivery can help significantly elevate the purchase experience for consumers.

How integrated your store and warehouse systems are with your consumer touchpoints is going to determine how consistent consumer experience is across these touchpoints.

Furthermore, a consumer’s online purchase experience needs to be highly consistent with their offline experience. Apart from exclusive promotions in certain channels, consumers should be able to purchase the same products at the same prices with similar set of promotions across all channels. How integrated your store and warehouse systems are with your consumer touchpoints is going to determine how consistent consumer experience is across these touchpoints.

Integration of existing systems with Order and Warehouse Management Systems can help you fulfil accurately, efficiently and on time, every time.

Understand Consumers To Engage and Reward Them

People are different, and seek different things, different experiences. What’s memorable for one may be forgettable for another. As most hypermarkets cater to a highly diverse set of people, understanding what they really want and how to make their purchase experience better can feel complicated. The answer lies in your data.

Most hypermarkets are already maintaining a CRM system to keep track of their consumers and their transactions, but how often are you using this data to design personalised experiences for your consumers? Are you able to get a 360° single view of your consumer across channels and use this data to build consumer journeys? Are you able to accurately determine who your best consumers are and what are you doing to retain them, to keep them coming back?

Having accurate insights into your consumers helps you keep them engaged with your brand. It doesn’t just help marketing work better, but it also helps maximise consumer retention and loyalty.

As consumers have more choices than ever before, it’s really not easy to build loyalty and protect it. Grocery retailers must find ways to deepen emotional connections with consumers. Having accurate insights into your consumers helps you keep them engaged with your brand. It doesn’t just help marketing work better, but it also helps maximise consumer retention and loyalty. With the right consumer segmentation, based on consumer insights, you can ensure that all your communications are relevant and personalised and with a CRM program, you can get full visibility of your consumers and business across channels to ensure your communications are consistent.

But a CRM program alone isn’t going to be enough. Loyal consumers want to be recognised by the brand, and rewarded for their loyalty. They want to be a part of an exclusive club. Having a well designed loyalty program that complements your brand can be a great way to tap into greater consumer retention and higher repeat sales. But you must make your program easy to use.

Personalise Your Way to Profit

Personalisation is steadily becoming one of the biggest priority for retailers today as they gather more and more data into consumer behaviour and business performance. The challenge here is to use the data and derived insights effectively to push greater growth and profitability for your brand.

Studies say 31% of consumers are prone to switch grocers for personalised offers based on their buying behaviour. They seek experiences that are specifically tailored to them. 50% of users who stopped buying online, did so because they couldn’t easily find the products they were looking for. With personalisation of the storefront, such cases could be significantly reduced while more repeat sales with greater average basket value could be achieved.

Another trend in hypermarkets today are private label products. According to a PLMA study, sales of private label and store brands generated $120 billion in 2016 and will continue to grow significantly. Private labels offer retailers greater control over quality, price and hence profits. It’s no wonder then that most hypermarkets players have already established private label units.

But is there a way to combine the power of personalisation with the higher profits of private labels? Yes, with artificial intelligence based personalised recommendations and suggestive product bundles, you can push a greater number of private label and/or higher margin products to your consumers. Your consumers find what they were looking for, while you gain from greater margins and higher average basket values.

Download the entire resource on achieving profitability through hypermarkets here

Kapil Raj
Kapil Raj has been writing about consumer behaviour, consumer businesses and technology in the fintech and IT space.
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