The Covid-19 pandemic has created a ‘new normal’ for retail in 2021. Customer habits have changed dramatically and the way retailers market to customers have to change as well. A few years back, we made a list of 4 objectives for grocers to crush in 2018. These goals are still important today, but the world has changed more than you would have expected in three years. To keep up with the new normal, we put together 4 goals for grocers to crush it in 2021.

 

1. Build an Omni-channel 

The eCommerce market has grown exponentially in 2021. Online sales increase every year, and customers are driven by convenience more than ever. If you do not have an omni-channel yet, now is the time to implement it. An omni-channel is where customers have multiple ways to receive their product. They can go into your brick and mortar store, or go online and have the product delivered to their doorstep. 

IT Retail can help you get your online grocery store started and build it to success. Your store will have an easy to use website where all of your products will be available to customers. We will also connect you with on-demand access to thousands of drivers and carriers so that customers can receive your products easily and efficiently. 

Customers are prioritizing convenience, and marketing to their needs will grow your customer base. It will also improve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Building an omni-channel can be stressful at first because it is a second source of orders and new locations for carriers to ship to. If you choose IT Retail, we take care of your orders, deliveries, payments and refunds so that you can focus on your store.

 

2. Manage the Labor Shortage

With the Covid-19 pandemic came a massive labor shortage in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings rose to 9.3 million by the end of 2021. This is causing many stores to shut down or shorten their hours to accommodate for the small number of team members. This requires grocery stores to find new ways to thrive during the labor shortage. 

The first way grocery stores can begin to manage the labor shortage is to evaluate what potential employees are looking for. A common reason people are not applying for jobs is the need for higher wages and better working conditions. Evaluate your own store and see how you can accommodate workers pay and what benefits you can offer to entice applicants. 

While you are finding ways to entice applicants, consider how you can improve your store at the moment. Find ways to automate your store’s processes and deliver customer satisfaction with fewer employees. Implement self-checkout kiosks if your store does not have them yet. Self-checkout kiosks only need one cashier for 6 kiosks, which provides a more efficient customer experience for less. Implement an efficient POS system so that your employees can complete a higher number of tasks faster, allowing your store to be managed more efficiently.

 

3. Build a Community 

As customer expectations change, there is more awareness of a company’s brand and place in its community. Customers want to know what brands stand for and who they are supporting when they purchase products. Make your store’s brand known and build a community with the help of social media. 

You can build relationships in your local community, and build brand loyalty. One way to do this is by getting involved in your local organizations, and be part of local special events. Social media is one of the best ways to build a community these days. Have social media accounts that not only market your goods and services but also engage an audience. Respond to comments and engage in conversations with those that interact with your account. This will give a positive impression to customers and improve brand loyalty.

 

4. Collect Data for Clear Decision Making 

The growth of social media and the popularity of Omni-channels brings whole new ways to collect data. Don’t let this go to waste and use it for more efficient decision making. There are many sources for data like:

  • POS system – IT Retails POS system works seamlessly with our reporting analytics 
  • Customer Loyalty Program – Our loyalty programs track a customer’s purchases and how customers engage with your store
  • Social Media Analytics – Social media sites will show you how customers interact with your social media posts and what gets the most engagement. 
  • Surveys – Use these previously mentioned platforms to conduct surveys from customers 

This data will show you how you can best market to your customers to increase sales. You will be able to make decisions that will receive the best results.

 

Wrapping Up 

The world is changing and customer expectations are constantly changing with it, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting task keeping up with it. Use technology to your advantage when building an omni-channel. There are always new ways to automate processes and use the internet to listen to what customers and potential employees are looking for in a grocery store. Crushing these 4 goals will bring success for your grocery store in 2021! 

Author: George Goodwin