What does it take to deliver on the promise of customer centricity?
It is clear that supermarket operators and other retailers need to invest in the products, promotions and services that matter most to customers, or they risk losing market share. Near-term success for food companies will require laser-focused attention on the needs and desires of customers, not only in the marketing department, but also in the merchandising department.
Walmart, with Savings Catcher, as well as Kroger, Target and Safeway, with their loyalty programs and mobile apps, and, most recently, Whole Foods, with its rewards program have all listened to their customers and created a unique experience that really engages the shopper. They are constantly gaining insight into the consumer’s behavior so they can better satisfy customer needs and capture more of their grocery spend.
US Foods has successfully implemented a customer-centric approach across departments and included assortment, pricing, customer marketing and supplier collaboration. They’ve put the customer at the center of everything they do, branding its customer centricity strategy “CookBook”. CookBook powers customer-centric, actionable insights through predictive analytics. These insights allow the company to deepen customer relationships. CookBook continues to expand as US Foods develops its customer centricity journey and, when fully deployed, the company believes it will create more value across all stages of the customer lifecycle.
US Foods and others have found that, to truly deliver on the promise of customer centricity, grocers need to pursue a series of integrated, customer-centric strategies and tactics. The benefits can be substantial, with leading grocers seeing ROIs of 5-to-8 times their customer centricity investments while competing effectively by satisfying the needs of shoppers better than the competition.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you define customer centricity? What are the key success factors to fully deliver on the promise of customer centricity? What retailers do you think are most customer-centric?