Grocery assortment planning has been upended by omnichannel. Grocers were comfortable relying on broader, older models that identified underperforming products to remove from a store shelf, or leaning into models that focused on SKU rationalization. But assortment planning now presents an entirely new bag of challenges.
Domestic e-grocery sales continued to fall from pandemic-fueled highs, decreasing 10% in November to $7.7 billion, down slightly from $7.8 billion the two prior months, according to Brick Meets Click/Mercatus. Fewer households are buying groceries online, combined with lower order frequency and smaller basket sizes among regular shoppers.
Israeli startup 1MRobotics, just 18 months old, is leapfrogging micro fulfillment to nano fulfillment, using automated robotic systems within containers that can be dropped in suburban locations or fit into an urban building, fulfilling orders in lights-out fashion for delivery in as little as 15 minutes.
Senators are asking for a hearing and FTC oversight to review the proposed $24.6 billion mega deal merging Kroger and Albertsons into a grocery powerhouse, expressing concerns about its impact on the competitive landscape and on consumers dealing with soaring prices. The FTC has its work cut out with a hot political football.
Last week Kroger announced it was acquiring Albertsons for $24.5B, a major deal on the order of Amazon buying Whole Foods in 2017 that immediately reshaped the power structure in grocery. Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst at GlobalData Retail, helps us put the deal in context in our latest MCM CommerceChat podcast.
Perhaps the biggest competitive advantages delivery services have over traditional grocery is sourcing and convenience. So, what can traditional grocers do to stop their lunch being eaten? Continue to innovate your channels with products, services and tools that help customers get the most from their in-store experiences.
Kroger and its data arm, 84.51°, have launched a Science and Technology Solutions team. The focus is on delivering science and technology solutions that revolutionize customer engagement in retail. Andrew Cron, Chief Scientist and SVP of Science, and Barbara Connors, VP of Strategy and Acceleration at 84.51°, explain more in this podcast.
When a customer tries e-grocery shopping for the first time, they’re likely starting a critical step in their online grocery journey, underscoring the importance of the omnichannel shift. That means retailers must design digital products and service experiences that promote customer engagement online and minimize cart abandonment.
Walmart is adding its in-home delivery service an option for Walmart+ subscribers, making it easier for them to access the service through a single registration as it expands to new markets. Amazon for its part is giving Prime members a year of free GrubHub deliveries, while getting an option for a 2% stake in the company.
Fears of inflation eating away at household incomes continues to run ahead of COVID-19 concerns, according to a May trend report from 84.51˚, the consumer data and analytics arm of Kroger. These concerns are also causing more consumers to want BNPL to expand beyond products to services, according to a Harris poll.