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Simple Ways to Keep Customers in Mind

By: STCR Staff 

With the pivotal role that grocery stores play in customer’s lives, making shopping trips convenient and stress-free is a surefire way to stand out in an over-saturated market. While many big-box grocery stores are adding next-generation technology solutions like frictionless checkout systems or online ordering, the best grocery store technology is easy for customers to adapt to and makes their overall shopping experience hassle-free. 

In order to determine which solutions work for their customers, many grocery retailers around the country and the world have implemented creative and simple strategies to make their shoppers’ lives easier. Many of these solutions can be translated into digital iterations in the future, and grocery store operators from the biggest corporate retailers to the smallest mom-and-pop shops can take inspiration from these innovative ideas. 

Aisle Directory

Kroger, one of the United States’ largest supermarket chains by revenue, introduced a stunningly simple solution on its shopping carts. Each cart features an alphabetical directory with information on the most common products and where to find them in the store. For shoppers on a time crunch or new customers, this directory can mean the difference between wandering aisles looking for the right item or breezing through the store quickly to pick up essentials. This idea can be interpreted digitally in the form of a store app, which many major retailers have started adopting. Store maps or directories in the app with search capabilities can make shopping trips more efficient and result in happier returning customers. 

Produce Freshness Guide

More customers are placing increasing value on buying and preparing fresh foods, and buying produce in-season is an effective way to ensure quality. Many grocers have started posting in-store boards and signage that inform customers about local growing seasons and prime times to buy specific produce items. For retailers looking for a high-tech solution, this can be accomplished with digital signage that can be updated with the newest information on in-season produce. 

Maintenance Reporting

Sainsbury, one of the UK’s most popular grocery chains, has rolled out a simplistic solution for the all-too-prevalent and annoying problem of shopping carts with malfunctioning wheels. Shoppers who encounter damaged carts can fix a tag labelled “Please repair me” to the cart to alert staff to the issue. The next-generation version of this solution could be a specialized kiosk where shoppers can report issues ranging from spills in the aisles to out-of-stock items. Encouraging customers to provide more feedback is an effective way to cut back on maintenance time and free up customer service personnel for other tasks. 

While these solutions are currently not groundbreaking, they are good examples of the increased customer service focus that shoppers have started to expect. Grocery retailers around the world have started responding to this need and addressing the day-to-day frustrations that shoppers experience when picking up their necessary items. Addressing these problems with technology is just the next step to reaching the future of the grocery store experience.

"STCR works to provide its customers with a competitive edge by bringing new ideas on what works in making a grocer successful."