COVID-19 has put grocers and CPG brands through some changes
Retailers of food and grocery products struggled to meet consumer demand for delivery, buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS) and other options last year as the novel coronavirus pandemic hit.
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies at the same time were switching their marketing focus to channels that would make it easier for consumers to buy their products.
At a session during last week’s Groceryshop in Las Vegas, executives from Rite Aid and Frito-Lay stressed that a new kind of retail is being born out of this chaos, one that features digital marketing assets, differentiated assortments, operations that remove in-store friction and re-worked services.
Andre Persaud, Rite Aid EVP & chief retail officer, said the drugstore retailer is now using modern digital assets to focus on the consumer. This includes differentiated beauty merchandising that features clean products; pharmacists out on the store floor talking with shoppers and a revamped bright and airy shopping experience.
The retailer is targeting 25 – 49-year-old consumers who are caring for their children, parents and pets. In creating a new in-store experience, Mr. Persaud said the chain is empowering store managers to lead an omnichannel effort that creates the type of demand for front-of-store items in line with each location’s pharmacy sales.
“Rite Aid wants to be a whole health pharmacy addressing issues in areas like diet, hygiene and home testing,” he said.
Mike Del Pozzo, SVP of sales and chief customer officer at Frito-Lay North America, said PepsiCo is also overhauling its approach to omnichannel, focusing on collaboration and innovation. Every campaign starts with a strategic deep dive with retailers that calls on digital media tactics to spur omnichannel growth. Those tactics are measured for return on investment, supported by advanced analytics, to determine campaign repeats, drops and repairs.
Both Mr. Persaud and Mr. Del Pozzo agreed that grocery companies have to up their omnichannel game or risk irrelevance in the near-term future. Focusing on what the consumer wants next, where and whenever they want it, is the only way to thrive.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How can retailers and their trading partners best reduce friction through all channels while simultaneously increasing value to shoppers? What omnichannel marketing tactics do you expect to see employed most over the next year?