For the food retail industry, innovation is now an unavoidable aspect of a business, especially since the mass closure of thousands of physical stores all through 2017 and 2018. Consumers are also demanding more efficiency and convenience from food retailers, especially for on-demand food retail.
The latter is such a big deal now that most food retailer trends for 2019 are aimed at major innovations. For those in the business, the food retailer trends for 2019 present a number of opportunities, including boosting sales for your business.
Below we show you four major food retailer trends for 2019 you can leverage to increase your business’s sales.
Grocery stores partnering with 3rd party apps such as Instacart
If you’re looking to boost sales for your food retailer business, e-commerce is a new trend you must keep abreast of. Amazon had already popularized e-commerce as a shopping model when it bought popular nationwide grocer Whole Foods Market, and judging from the positive response from customers, there is no turning back.
For physical store-bound food retailers, there’s no missing out because of less in-store foot traffic. Third party players backed by e-commerce such as Instacart are already enabling expansion of target markets, faster deliveries and higher sales.
Partnering with Instacart, for example, makes it easy for a food retailer to reach customers without meeting them, as they don’t have to come to the store to make a purchase.
Experts predict that third-party apps such as these are going to experience wider scale incorporation, as physical store-bound food retailers try to gain some ground from the invasion of Amazon/Whole Foods.
Automated grocery store experiences
After tasting the ease and convenience of e-commerce in food retailing, customers are expected to start demanding more automation in their purchases and deliveries in the near future.
Automation in the food retailer business didn’t always seem like a possibility until Amazon opened its Amazon Go stores and made checkout-free shopping seem normal.
Now, following their successful launch, experts are considering automation one of the food retailer trends for 2019 and predicting that it’s the next big thing for food retailers as they try to move with the changing times.
Automation in the food retailer business promises customers faster shopping times and a frictionless experience in the grocery mart, aided by new all-surrounding scanning technology that would replace salesmen and other staff.
For business owners that would mean bigger overhead costs but more customers and higher sales, so it’s a promising prospect.
Emergence of Technology
For food retailers everywhere, especially those in brick and mortar locations, the loss of in-store foot traffic is an impending danger as customers make more and more purchases online.
Many food retailers are picking up after other major retailers and boosting their in-store experience (and overall sales!) with the help of technology to attract more customers inside and also make them stay longer.
This incorporation of technology in the in-store experience has already proven so vital that it’s already been earmarked as one of the food retailer trends to watch in 2019.
Experts predict that some possible incorporations of technology in-store as 2019 unfolds will include, among others, more visual and audio technology that will help customers make faster purchase decisions through a more interactive experience, AI technology that will personalize every shopper’s in-store experience and new technology that will help customers with browsing and sampling products, in addition to faster checkouts.
Robot technology is also expected to take center stage as retailers look to increase speed and convenience. The BreadBot, for example, bakes up to 10 loaves per hour as ordered by customers.
Technology to help beat food waste is also high on the radar. Already, new such tech is being incorporated, such as the Shelf Engine technology that uses AI to predict groceries about to perish.
The biggest technological incorporation expected is the integration of smartphones to the in-store experience. This is already happening, courtesy of apps like Instacart that make grocery shopping and delivery a breeze.
More integration is expected in the form of shopping apps that will connect shoppers with food retailers and make ordering and access to discounts easier, apps that will enable online queuing (such as the tech from Qudini) and more.
BOPUS, or ‘Buy Online, Pick Up in Store’ is a new shopping trend that is taking over the food retailing industry. In fact, unlike e-commerce (plus home delivery) and in-store shopping, experts believe it’s BOPUS that will lead the pack by 2020, judging by how it’s trending right now.
With BOPUS, shoppers only have to order their desired products via a store app from wherever they are (it could be groceries for tonight’s dinner) make the payment within the app, and then pick up the order from the store or its parking lot themselves whenever they are ready, even if it’s just minutes later. The shoppers find the order ready, so it’s seamless and fast.
BOPUS is trending because it solves the home delivery issue most Americans have, in addition to reducing delivery time. For many food retailers, BOPUS is already boosting sales and in-store traffic.
Food delivery is another promising food retailer trend for 2019 that can be used to leverage sales. It’s seeing major growth as more service providers step up to the task, including Amazon Fresh and, Instacart.
This service has so far been most successful in dense urban areas located far away from grocery stores, where personal in-store shopping for groceries is bound to be more expensive than using a food delivery service.
Experts are positioning food delivery as a trend to watch with the expectation that as more customers step away from in-store shopping courtesy of e-commerce, food delivery will help food retailers retain their customers by allowing them the convenience of shopping from their homes using apps and food delivery services.
As shown by the food retailer trends above, customers are seeking more convenience and flexibility from food retailers as they shop in 2019. Most of these trends have already been incorporated by some food retailers with positive sales results, so you can try them too. Innovation is the name of the business in food retail and everyone is working to stay ahead of the curve.