Top 5 grocery retail strategies for 2024: Embrace change and drive sales

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You’re out of eggs. What do you do? Run over to the nearest grocery store? Order them through a delivery app? Add them to your e-grocery list to pick up later?

There’s no obvious footpath to buying groceries anymore. Whether it’s traditional brick-and-mortar or newer digital channels like e-grocers, online marketplaces, and social media, consumers have endless options to restock their pantries.

With all of this unpatterned behavior, keeping up with customer demands and industry trends is more crucial than ever. How well grocers can adapt to these changes and focus on the right investments will determine their ability to stay ahead in a competitive market.

Top 5 priorities for grocers in 2024

Let's look a little closer at the top five priorities impacting grocery retail strategy right now.

  • 1. Targeting with personalization

Providing shoppers with tailored suggestions or special offers is the hyper-personalization expected of today’s online grocery experience. Grocers are getting better at analyzing what consumers want to buy and when based on their data and past purchases, which allows them to promote products that customers are more likely to buy. Emerging technologies like generative AI can empower grocers to customize messaging and visuals for ads and listings to cater to distinct demographics and regional preferences with precision. Instead of relying on manual content production, grocers can create tailored content on a large scale, such as translating product descriptions based on the local market’s language. This personalized approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also drives conversion rates, paving the way for unparalleled profitability.

  • 2. Promoting private label

Today’s shoppers are more price-conscious than they are loyal to any given brand name. In response, grocers are focusing on promoting their own brands as less expensive alternatives. By leaning on private labels, grocery retailers can differentiate themselves from competitors, better cater to customer needs, and ensure quality is maintained regardless of price point. Just look at the Trader Joe’s phenomenon – 81% of people in the US shop there for its unique product offerings like the beloved Everything But the Bagel seasoning.

  • 3. Managing a multichannel presence

The beauty of online retail is that you’re not confined to the limits of physical space. Grocery retailers are realizing the power of making their products available outside the digital walls of their online stores. They strive to be present wherever consumers spend time on the internet, whether that’s Facebook, Amazon, or Google.

Search and social media are two of the most valuable routes for discovery. Through these channels, grocers can engage with potential customers, display products, and highlight the newest deals to boost online traffic and sales. However, it's essential to keep your online presence consistent across all of the channels you’re active on.

For instance, ALDI maintains accuracy and consistency by using the Productsup platform to adhere to the unique product feed specifications of both Meta and Google. Our channel-ready templates allow the global retailer to seamlessly integrate data from its website and map it to each channel's required formats. While increasing its online visibility and accessibility across both platforms, ALDI can be sure shoppers are coming across the correct information, regardless of their preference for scrolling on Facebook or Google. In doing so, ALDI has seen a 30% increase in possible impressions on the Google Marketing Platform.

  • 4. Leveraging local delivery platforms

The rise of grocery delivery is becoming a competitive difference between retailers. The convenience of completing the entire shopping experience without ever having to leave home is what drives ecommerce, so it's an important offering for every grocer. In fact, the global grocery delivery market is expected to reach an impressive $782.4 billion this year.

By partnering with companies, such as DoorDash and Instacart, grocery retailers can offer the flexibility their customers demand while also making their products and services available to a wider audience of consumers. These platforms also provide unique analytics about the larger market, enabling grocers to draw insights about product demand.

While some retailers may be hesitant to invite a third party into their relationship with consumers, most delivery services enable direct engagement opportunities, such as personalized notifications to customers.

  • 5. Using responsive merchandising

Part of social media’s effect on consumers is that trends are short-lived. People have grown accustomed to obsessing over something – an event, dance move, TV series, recipe, date idea, etc. – for a period of time, but then moving on quickly to the next viral sensation.

Grocers can leverage these spikes in consumer attention to drive more sales. By adjusting product content to correspond with trends and seasonal events, they can make their products more visible, attract new customers, and benefit from impulse purchases. Optimizing product titles and keywords with simple changes like "Taylor Swift” or "date night" can direct consumers to exactly what they're looking for. Or, in some cases, provide inspiration for what they didn't know they wanted.

Agility in managing product content is key to responding at the pace of the typical trend cycle, but grocers can get ahead of seasonal promotions by analyzing past years’ sales to determine buying patterns.

Understanding the latest trends in grocery retail is one thing; taking advantage of them is another. Learn how to turn these opportunities into competitive strategies with our comprehensive guide: The grocery leader’s guide to retail. Download the guide now for tips on overcoming the top challenges grocers face with managing product feeds, as well as lessons learned from industry leaders.

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