Becoming a next-level grocery store is about more than expanding your inventory and locations. It’s about enhancing the customer experience with various services and solutions. Whatever you can do to make shopping at your store easier should be at the top of your list in 2022.
This includes adopting grocery e-commerce platforms for online shopping. And using grocery picker apps to speed up fulfillment.
Haven’t started building a grocery e-commerce tech stack? Now’s the time to start, and we’ll help you. Continue reading to learn the best online grocery software and in-store technologies to implement today.
4 types of grocery software (and hardware) to improve efficiency and profits
Customers want better prices, faster service, and convenience. Nothing new—but these demands have increased since the start of COVID. Today’s grocers have to do more than keep their shelves stocked—they must also deliver groceries to the curbside or homes of shoppers.
Not already offering e-commerce solutions to customers? Then you’re falling behind competitors like Publix, Albertsons, and Walmart.
Thankfully, competing with big-name grocers is easier today than ever. Selling online levels the playing field, allowing the online grocer to compete with higher visibility and better service offerings today’s consumers expect.
But how do you get to this level fast? Here are four grocery e-commerce technologies helping grocers scale without hurting efficiency and profits.
1. Cashierless checkout systems
Touchless experiences are on many shoppers’ minds, particularly those worried about germs and viruses. So having a method to ring up items without face-to-face encounters with cashiers is a big deal.
Cashierless technology empowers customers to ring up and pay for groceries without help from a store employee. Of course, it’s good to have someone nearby in case something goes wrong.
Now, there are two ways you can go about this. You can either adopt a solution that includes conveyor belts and touchscreen checkouts.
Or you can do something a bit more innovative like Amazon Fresh and Walmart with a grab-and-go tech integration. This is a “checkout-less” model where customers scan their debit cards before entering, take what they need and walk out. Or they use their smartphones to scan QR codes to complete purchases.
This is possible using a mix of computer vision, deep machine learning, sensor fusion, and automated payment calculations.
And as a bonus, this helps offset the labor shortage issues many grocers face today.
2. Inventory management software
Thanks to supply chain disruptions caused by COVID (and overseas wars), inventory levels are in disarray. So not only do you have to monitor inventory to ensure stocked shelves. You also have to prevent customers from hoarding items from other shoppers.
With retail technologies available today, this is possible. For example, stor.ai empowers you to limit how many of an item customers can purchase at one time.
This ensures there’s enough to go around until inventory shipments return to normal.
3. E-Commerce website personalization tools
Building an e-commerce website for your grocery business is a great start. But without the right features and setup, you won’t make online customer engagements meaningful.
For example, using automated personalized recommendations based on the customer’s purchasing history. Or capturing email addresses with a pop-up, then sending shoppers customized promotions.
Online patrons enjoy buying from retailers that go out of their way to make their experience unique. Especially if it means cost savings.
With stor.ai, grocers can create personalized experiences (without technical knowledge required from your end). Consider sweetening the deal by offering a discounted price by adding your recommendations before checkout.
4. Grocery picking and fulfillment (and delivery) platforms
Giving grocery shoppers the fast curbside pickup and delivery services they desire requires efficient picking and fulfillment processes. Some grocers opt for third-party solutions like Instacart to fulfill and deliver groceries to customers.
The problem: It’s not a long-term resolution. At least, not if you’re looking to scale your profits. You’re splitting your revenue with a third-party provider, which is alright at the start. But eventually, it’s ideal to have your own delivery operation for picking, fulfillment, and deliveries.
The solution: Use a grocery picker app that organizes orders and streamlines the picking process, so curbside and home deliveries are quick.
This is critical now that quick-commerce (or Q-commerce) is growing in popularity.
With stor.ai, grocers have the tools needed to win at quick-commerce. It includes a user-friendly dashboard for order taking.
This enables pickers to:
- Issue refunds for the entire order or specific items
- Assist customers complete orders with a different debit card
- Edit delivery times should the customer need it earlier or later
- Add items at the customer’s request (useful for when switching products that are out-of-stock)
- See the stage of an order (on hold, received, collected, canceled)
Then grocery managers can assign pickers based on availability:
Then to maintain control over the size of deliveries, store managers can determine how many items customers can buy for express delivery.
And decide which items qualify for express delivery.
Don’t overlook establishing products qualified for expedited delivery to prevent overwhelming employees with oversized orders. This can also reduce last-mile fulfillment costs for gas and time spent on fulfilling large orders.
Grow your e-commerce grocery tech stack, grow your revenue
With the right grocery tech in place, you’ll have the tools needed to attract and retain customers, ultimately growing your profits. But to achieve this, you need e-commerce grocery software designed to create efficient ordering, picking, and fulfillment.
Something that’ll empower you to build your own last-mile delivery process.
If you’re not already selling online (or even if you are) and want to offer fulfillment and delivery services to customers, then stor.ai is worth a look. Schedule a demo with us today to see how it can help you build a profitable e-commerce grocery store.