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Technological Innovation, Pricing Optimization, and Sustainability considerations led grocery retailers to implement more cutting-edge approaches and practices post-pandemic disruptions in supply chains.

Mark Osborne, Director of Retail Execution at RSA America, spoke over some of the most recent concerns that grocers have and will offer some adequate directions in the upcoming session on how grocery retailers can use technology and procedures to succeed during operational transformation.

Does turning automation ON offset labor shortages for grocery retailers? What role does store staff play when it comes to customer retention?

Automation can be an unexpected cost in grocery stores due to high capital expenses and unpredictable ROIs. Labor is your highest controllable expense not factoring in COGs. Self-checkout or SCOs, have come a long way in theft detection and can be a labor saver, allowing one cashier to oversee 4-6 registers versus one.

The key here is choosing the right personality for this position, they must forward facing and engaging the customer, very interactive and knowledgeable. Another issue is deli/bakery labor, these are your highest labor departments, in terms of percentage. Pre-slicing lunchmeat ahead of time using technology to allow customers to order ahead of time enables the team to slice lunchmeat during slower times of the day while allowing them to focus on other tasks and customer service, this same concept is also useful for ordering special occasion cakes.

Robotics and other floor care are still highly undertested at the store level but it’s certainly worth exploring. Customer retention falls completely on the store staff, a company can write great ads and have awesome deals, but if we do not provide a great customer experience there are too many options to shop elsewhere.

Perishable departments are your greatest opportunity to engage the customer, sampling and customer service in these departments are crucial, being interactive and engaging the customer with product knowledge will keep them coming back. The front end plays a huge role here also, being focused on your customers and speaking with them, a simple “did you find everything you were looking for today” goes a long way as well as “have a nice day/evening. The customer could have a bad experience in the grocery aisles, but an engaged cashier can turn that negative into a positive.  

Feel an affinity? Let’s discuss grocery store operations, efficiency, automation, and more.

Mark Osborne

In providing the appropriate deals to the relevant customers on time, RSA America effectively uncovers information on consumer behavior both inside and outside of the store. Independent grocers can build enduring relationships with customers by employing our digital knacks to engage customers through targeted marketing, shopper data analytics, and digital couponing promotion techniques. For more information, visit www.rsaamerica.com.