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Groceryshop 2022 Day One: Retailers Deliver Convenience to Consumers Through Technology and Tap Social Commerce

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Coresight Research
Free Report

What's Inside

Coresight Research is Official Research Partner to Groceryshop 2022.

The Coresight Research team is attending and participating in the Groceryshop conference, held on September 19–22, 2022, in Las Vegas, US. In this report, we present key insights from day one of the event on September 19.

We cover how retailers are harnessing technology and data to adapt to consumer demand for convenience, as well as initiatives to improve the in-store and online shopping experience and tap social commerce.

This report includes highlights from retail companies including 7-Eleven, Albertsons, Gopuff, The Kellogg Company and Sam’s Club.

  • Read more Coresight Research coverage of Groceryshop 2022.
  • Click here to access more Coresight Research reports on grocery retail.

Executive Summary

We present key insights from the first day of Groceryshop on September 19, 2022.

  • Groceryshop provides innovation and networking opportunities, with more than 4,000 attendees
  • Retailers are harnessing technology and data to improve convenience for shoppers.
  • Retailers are launching initiatives to improve the shopping experience both in-store and online.
  • Social commerce is accelerating the content-to-consumption arc.
Introduction

The Coresight Research team is attending and participating in this year’s Groceryshop conference, held on September 19–22, 2022, in Las Vegas, US. The event brings together retail leaders and industry experts from around the world to explore the changing grocery landscape and address current challenges.

In this report, we present our top insights from day one of Groceryshop 2022 on September 19.

The Coresight Research team at Groceryshop 2022
The Coresight Research team at Groceryshop 2022 (left to right): Marie Driscoll, Senior Analyst – Managing Director, Luxury & Retail; Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder; Johanna Yannello, Customer Success Manager; Mara Dosso, Innovator Events Director; Steven Winnick, Senior Analyst; John Harmon, Senior Analyst
Source: Coresight Research

 

Groceryshop 2022 Day One: Coresight Research Insights

Innovation and Networking Opportunities

Retailers have reached a critical inflection point amid new economic challenges and the return of pre-pandemic consumer behavior; there is no choice but to innovate, said Krystina Gustafson, SVP Content at Groceryshop, and Rocquan Lucas, Content Director at Groceryshop, who introduced the event through the mainstage keynote address on day one. They emphasized that with over 4,000 attendees, Groceryshop 2022 presents a critical opportunity for networking among industry leaders—notably, over half of the attendees are C-suite executives.

Gustafson also introduced Groceryshop’s VIP Program (for visitors who have attended three or more Groceryshop events in the past), which offers perks including a suite upgrade, complimentary airport transfers and cabana access at beach parties. New additions to this year’s conference include more workshops and “tabletalks,” a new startup pitch program, a “Technology Solution Spotlight” track and a “The Future of Convenience” track. Convenience is already emerging as a major theme of Groceryshop 2022; we observed much discussion around this topic on day one.

Krystina Gustafson, SVP Content at Groceryshop
Krystina Gustafson, SVP Content at Groceryshop (left), and Rocquan Lucas, Content Director at Groceryshop (right)
Source: Coresight Research

 

Retailers Harness Technology and Data To Improve Convenience for Shoppers

Throughout day one, retailers discussed the importance of delivering a seamless and convenient shopping experience—the meaning of which varies among consumers and is also constantly evolving. This requires companies to harness more data and innovative technologies to understand evolving consumer preferences.

Tim Simmons, SVP and Chief Product Officer at Sam’s Club, emphasized that by rolling out new technologies quickly, retailers can test, learn and innovate to meet consumer demand and behavior. Sam’s Club has identified an insatiable demand for tech across business units and has rolled out technologies on the consumer and fulfillment sides to meet the convenience needs of its members. Sam’s Club has been successful with its in-app Scan & Go feature, Simmons highlighted. Scan & Go delivers a self-checkout experience: shoppers simply scan items in-store using their smartphone, pay via the app and show their receipt upon exit.

Sam’s Club’s in-store Scan & Go offering
Sam’s Club’s in-store Scan & Go offering
Source: Company website

 

Furthermore, Sam’s Club’s Scan & Ship feature breaks down barriers between the digital and physical channels by enabling home delivery of orders placed in-store via shoppers’ smartphones. Sam’s Club has also introduced floor-scrubbing robots, which are fitted with computer vision technology and provide inventory transparency.

Speedy innovation was also identified by Albertsons as an important strategy to better serve its customers’ evolving needs. At Groceryshop, Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, explained that listening, understanding and quickly responding to customer feedback is critical in the current retail environment, and that retailers should forego anything in the consumption ecosystem that is not serving the consumer to “avoid any extra noise” as this only serves as friction.

In terms of gathering consumer data, Charisse Hughes, Chief Brand and Advance Analytics Officer at The Kellogg Company, emphasized the value of first-party data, which Kellogg uses to better understand its customers, what they care about and how they want to shop with brands. Kellogg leverages data to inform decisions around new product launches and exclusive offerings. Like Sam’s Club, Kellogg has found that collaboration across business units provides more holistic data about its customers, enabling the company to better meet shopper needs.

Improving the Shopping Experience In-Store and Online

Retailers are developing in-store shopping formats to deliver convenience and new experiences to consumers.

During a session in “The Future of Convenience” track, Raghu Mahadevan, SVP and Chief Digital Officer at 7-Eleven, explained that the company is developing its 7NOW app and delivery services to meet evolving consumer needs for frictionless convenience. He added that 3,500 7-Eleven stores operate as part of the 7NOW service, delivering snacks, alcohol and fresh food to consumers in approximately 27 minutes. Mahadevan said that delivery is “the ultimate convenience,” and customers are willing to pay higher delivery fees on impulse purchases, such as those made through 7NOW.

7-Eleven’s 7NOW delivery service
7-Eleven’s 7NOW delivery service
Source: Google Play

 

Another key aspect for shopper convenience is seamless in-store operations, according to Mahadevan. 7-Eleven has introduced new innovations to provide a unique and frictionless experience for consumers, including its Scan, Pay, & Go cashierless checkout experience. In the future, 7-Eleven hopes to introduce new innovations, such as autonomous delivery or a fully cashless model, and continue to deliver new and improved experiences to its customers.

Foxtrot, a convenience store chain with an all-day café and a 30-minute delivery app, is curating in-store shopping and delivery services to provide personal experiences for consumers. Foxtrot offers a curated selection of snacks, food and to-go meals from sustainable and small businesses in a variety of store formats within one location: one-third of its store space is dedicated to a market format, one-third to a coffee shop and one-third to seating. This enables consumers to choose their preferred experience while enjoying curated product offerings, which offer a sense of surprise and delight to the consumer, according to Michael LaVitola, CEO at Foxtrot.

A Foxtrot store in Southport, North Carolina, featuring seating space
A Foxtrot store in Southport, North Carolina, featuring seating space
Source: Company website

 

Social Commerce Accelerates the Content-to-Consumption Arc

To meet consumers where they are, retail companies at Groceryshop discussed how the consumption of media can be harnessed and blended with retail consumption. Saenz stated that “every moment is shoppable,” underlining the importance of a media presence for retailers.

Daniel Folkman, SVP Business at rapid delivery company Gopuff, emphasized that businesses should turn to social commerce to drive sales volume. He stated that social commerce is a $100 billion industry that can accelerate the content-to-consumption arc. Potential consumers aggregate on social media platforms, such as TikTok, with the potential to consume media and make purchases all in one platform. It is therefore essential for brands to focus on creator-led campaigns, which can directly drive sales through media content consumption.

Caroline Masullo, VP and Head of E-Commerce Marketing at Peapod Digital Labs (the e-commerce engine of Ahold Delhaize USA), discussed how the lines between the retailer and traditional media are blurring for consumers. Therefore, it is important for retailers to not box retail media into any specific role, as it can support many different roles and, in this way, help smooth the content-to-consumption arc. This blurring of lines, or breaking down the silos, was discussed by many retailers during the sessions on day one of Groceryshop, with industry leaders stating that it can be achieved by providing connectivity everywhere.

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