September 29, 2022

Groceryshop 2022 Recap: How Inflation and the Pandemic are Driving Omnichannel Capabilities

Groceryshop 2022 was a huge success, and AdAdapted was thrilled to sponsor and attend their biggest event yet. The booths were incredible, the weather in Vegas couldn’t have been better, and the 200+ speakers brought gripping insights into the needs and demands retailers are facing in today’s climate.

However, one theme dominated the conference that made this event unique from its predecessors: The effects of COVID and inflation are drastically changing shopping behaviors, forcing retailers to adopt an omnichannel approach.

In his Keynote presentation, Yael Cosset, SVP & Chief Information Officer for Kroger, notes how consumers are shifting from pandemic behaviors, opting more often to shop in-store. Though that doesn’t negate the influx of customers who now prefer pick-up or shopping online. That’s why retailers like Kroger are now looking for ways to support their digital investments from the pandemic while meeting the needs of a changing world. 

“We know our customers have different needs based on their daily lives and the question becomes: What, when and how? Our seamless ecosystem brings all of these factors together, without asking the customer to compromise on quality, value or convenience," says Cosset. "Whether our customers shop for a last-minute dinner, their weekly shop, freshest ingredients at the right price, we provide relevant and personalized experience."

To prevent customers from compromising on their preferred experience, Cosset explains how Kroger’s physical and digital ecosystem is evolving through sub-30 minute delivery, the facilitation of new fulfillment centers, and the implementation of Boost, Kroger’s membership program that saves customers over $1,000 per year with its benefits.

Kroger isn’t the only one feeling these changes. Laura McCullough, Managing Director of North America for NielsenIQ, states “consumers are shifting priorities faster than we’ve ever seen them in this industry.” Rather than investing solely on in-store marketing or eCommerce, the CEOs from Walmart and Whole Foods touched on how the pandemic and inflation demands a hybrid experience. 

Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner states “we found ourselves a bit flat-footed in trying to catch up with [the] capital investments necessary to respond to shifts in shopper behavior and prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead… Using data in a way that helps us get ahead of demand I think is our biggest challenge going forward.”

For many companies, leveraging data to better understand and serve their customers is key to constantly changing consumer demands and economic conditions. In the balancing act of trying to support both digital and in-store efforts, first-party data continues to grow in priority and value. To achieve this balance, retailers are opting for a more collaborative approach with tech solution providers in order to better predict and fulfill consumer needs. In today’s day and age, staying ahead of the change is quickly becoming the only way to keep up.

As Bryan Gildenberg, SVP of Commerce for Omnicom Commerce Group stated “people are going to shop online and in-store for the foreseeable future. You can’t just be good at one or the other.” Yael Cosset said this even more simply, stating “the biggest trap for the industry is to decide that one method is sufficient.”

To learn more about how AdAdapted leverages first-party data to support an omnichannel approach, email!

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