We are living in unprecedented times when the food retail industry is forced to change, adapt and excel – whether due to competition, the pandemic or shopper demands.
The digitization of the grocery industry forced not only grocers themselves to keep up with rapid changes, but also their entire ecosystems had to rise to the occasion to meet the needs of shoppers for simple, easy, fast and rewarding experiences.
Like any transformation, these times of data and digital transformation introduced chaos that often leaves grocers in general and independent grocers in particular in an uncertain position on choosing the correct path for their family’s lifelong business. Unlike the national grocers, independent grocers cannot afford a trial-and-error approach (time or money wise), hence they rely on their providers to play nicely in the sandbox, as any failure could be detrimental to their business longevity.
Noise, Confusion, Technology and the Pandemic
The accelerated adoption of e-commerce platforms, click and collect, third-party delivery programs, digital coupons and other strategies left many retailers with parallel solutions that are either not synchronized or do not communicate with one another. Despite answering an immediate need by implementing such solutions, independents actually encountered even greater confusion and noise from disjointed experiences.
Increasing Revenues, Reducing Cost and Saving Time
If there is a key point I’ve learned about independent grocers, it’s that they want to improve shopper engagement, increase revenues, reduce costs and save time. Never have I seen professionals that are more dedicated, more vested and harder working than retail grocery owners and their teams.
Psychologists define “Positive Individualism” as the ability of someone to work as efficiently and productively by themself as they might perform in a group. While this is important for a Navy seal or special forces operator, when catering to a business you never work in a vacuum and must realize that any action taken by the POS impacts all those integrated with it. Better use of data will lead to greater access to shopper marketing initiatives by CPGs.
Therefore, it is our responsibility as service providers and vendors to work together in helping grocers achieve their goals. The power of partnerships isn’t just about joining together to bring a better technological offering. It’s also about ensuring seamless experiences to all parties in the ecosystem, which in turn leads to higher profitability and smoother execution.
During the pandemic, it was our goal to help empower our retailers in creating a single source of truth and simplifying the way they communicate with shoppers and make use of data across all touch points. We have extended our API to ecommerce providers, kiosk and website developers and coupon aggregators. We made it easy for wholesalers to extend their digital services and kept our common goal top of mind to all.
Additionally, AppCard partnered with industry leaders such as Intel and AWS to truly simplify the way data is captured at the edge and transferred to the cloud. Such partnerships guarantee the needed scalability, reliability, capacity and security to execute on such an important endeavor. By making use of machine learning and AI, we help make the data actionable to ensure repeat purchases and personalized experiences for shoppers.
Supporting Retailers and Their Ecosystems
AppCard prides itself on helping drive success by solving individual challenges for each grocer and partnering with other providers. We are capturing data (all the data – online and offline), powering rewards and loyalty, understanding CPG goals, personalizing and clearing digital coupons, and executing communications on behalf of each retailer. This requires not just examining a retailer’s needs, but also taking into account the ecosystem the retailer collaborates with.
AppCard is the next generation of Customer Engagement, Personalized Marketing, Digital Coupons and Shopper Analytics for multi-location retailers, franchises, and independent grocers. Learn more at appcard.com.