Pandemic has changed things the way they used to be – some temporarily and some permanently. The retail industry was hit the hardest by the pandemic and was forced to change overnight the way it operated.
The grocery stores focused more on the physical presence of people; hence they suffered the most. That was until they found relevant customer experience solutions to run both their online and physical stores.
The grocery store used to be where people used to meet & greet, some coincidental bumps that turned into dates, and some awkward catchups happened. However, things will change drastically now.
1. People come to the grocery store with a purpose
The pandemic forced people to stay indoors and only go out when needed. This taught the frequent grocery store visitors to draw up a list of things they would need for the whole week and buy them all at once. Even when the pandemic is over, the grocery store’s on-foot traffic is expected to stay low.
2. Online grocery store convenience
The grocery store has virtualized its stores to give the customer a feeling like that of a grocery store. In addition to that, the customer can make an appointment if they want a virtual salesman’s assistance. This way, they will have all the facilities they would need that too from the comfort of their home. Who would want to go out and do groceries?
3. Redrawing of the stores
To accommodate the government set SOPs, many stores had to make their aisles wider and mark distances at which people would stand. Until things go back to normal, the outlook will stay the same, and who knows it might never change back to what it once was before.
4. Technology in stores
Cashless payments were a topic everyone debated until the COVID-19 pandemic happened. People had to accept not only that but also self- checkout phenomena. Walmart has put up terminals where customers can scan things in their trolley and pay at the end. If not, they can call an employee to do it for them. Kosher, on the other hand, is introducing an app using which customers can scan and pay simultaneously.
5. No more choices
Free samples had been banned because of health hazards, but it is a possibility that they might never come back again. Simultaneously, the stores’ promotional offers have also started to shrink because the customers have a fixed mind when they arrive in-store. They don’t have the time to consider a promotional purchase, and as demand decreases, the offers will too. The grocery stores used to carry different brands of the same product are now sticking to offer the most sold brand. The aisles are getting lesser to give space; hence the newbies have to go out of the store.
6. Local is being preferred
When things closed down for pandemic, the supply chain of the grocery store was immensely affected. To fulfill the gap, grocery stores started keeping things of local vendors. The awareness of local products rose, and the business soared.
Most of the grocery store’s operational changes are positive, and the analyst expects them to stay the same in the ‘new normal.’ Hopefully, they will!