Reach New Heights of Omnichannel Loyalty through Grocery Retail Digital Transformation

By: Melissa Canellis


Grocers are experiencing the biggest shift in consumer preferences, expectations and shopping behaviors that the industry has ever seen. The rise of a new economy (fast-forwarded by the pandemic) based on digital transformation is dramatically reshaping the ways brands do business. For grocery retailers that don’t want to lose customers seeking a better experience, the time to digitally transform is now.

To succeed in today’s new economy, grocery retailers must invest in agile, dynamic technologies that extend across all areas of their businesses to deliver seamless, yet personalized online and physical store experiences that foster the best customer loyalty.

Tech-savvy consumer expectations begin (and often quickly end) with initial brand interactions, requiring grocers to deliver a unified, omnichannel strategy that drives engagement through optimization and personalization at every touchpoint. Taking a digital approach to marketing and loyalty ultimately ensures customers’ top priorities for value, convenience and personalization are met over any channel they use.

The Evolution of Shoppers’ New Expectations

Consumer expectations have been transforming rapidly over the past five years due to advancing technologies, which have given shoppers more control over what, where, when, how and why they buy more than ever before.

Recognition of this shift in power is important for grocers to acknowledge. As they grow to understand that for many shoppers today the lines between physical and digital interactions is blurred, and they must work smarter at delivering a physical and online experience that meets consumers’ current demands.

For the first time there is a generation of shoppers that has never known the world before the internet existed and a generation where that is true of mobile as well. Millennials and Generation Xers are driven by a new set of value propositions that include convenience, personalization, and the digital-readiness of the grocery retailer.

Top 3 Drivers of Changing Consumer Behaviors & Preferences

  • Digital tools. Consumers are using digital channels throughout their entire shopping experience starting with initial product searches and reading reviews, then purchasing in-store or online with a digital offer, and afterwards leaving social reviews or working with customer service through email and chatbots.
  • Convenience. Consumers want the convenience of purchasing groceries online with the ability to choose curbside pickup or delivery. For grocers that don’t have their own delivery service, they can work with partners like Instacart or Doordash to have orders delivered directly to customers. 
  • Personalization. Consumers expect grocers to know who they are, where they live, what products or services they may have purchased in the past, and what their current preferences are. One-size-fits-all coupons are not enough, consumers want personalized incentives that add value to their lives.

While the potential is in reach to digitally transform their businesses and drive powerful results, grocery retailers often lack the ability to effectively execute a digital strategy. Outdated legacy systems and applications that were slow to move to the cloud are leading to downtime and a loss of customers and revenue.

In order for grocers to understand their customers and their purchase-related information in real-time they need to refine their business model from a product-centric approach toward a customer convenience approach, which requires digitizing their supply chain. This move allows them to capture valuable data across every engagement touchpoint online and in-store to develop a customer centric operating model specific to their businesses.

Next, grocers need to prioritize investing in a technology infrastructure that supports data collection, storage, and analysis, including the cloud, mobile, social, analytics, AI/ML and enterprise solutions. With the right technology infrastructure and ecosystems in place, grocery retailers can turn all the product, customer and location data they are collecting into actionable insights that drive innovation and enhance the overall shopping experience to increase customer loyalty, revenue and ROI.

The Punchh Platform offers grocers the ability to reach shoppers with personalized incentives, over their preferred channels and at the most opportune times. Learn more with a free demo from a Punchh Loyalty Expert. 


Stay in the know. Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter to receive proven loyalty strategies, offer management techniques, and new trends in your industry. Sign up today!