3 Easy Ways to Reconnect With Your Shoppers
Times are changing for grocery retail in the UK, and with talk of “dramatic shake-ups at the troubled supermarket chains” it is at something of a crossroads. With stores set to close and the prospect of thousands of job cuts looming, the changes are not just hitting retailers, but the Head Offices of many household names are also feeling the effects.
So, what is a grocery retailer to do? The most popular (and obvious) answer is to reconnect with the shoppers – but what does that actually mean? Is it possible that brands and retailers have actually become so disconnected from the needs of their own customers in just a few years?
I don’t think so. I think the real issue is that some decision makers fail to grasp what ‘connecting with shoppers’ really means, which is something of a mystery as brands and retailers invest a great deal into trying to understand their shoppers. They use immense amounts of data from sources such as data houses like Nielsen, Kantar and IRI, as well as high-quality perception from shopper agencies such as SBXL.
The information is there, so what’s going wrong? Is the information actually reaching the people within an organisation who are in the position to deliver shopper-orientated approaches to retail? The sad truth is that sometimes there is no ‘one individual’ or a single department that is in charge of handling shopper knowledge. There might be category teams that get shopper data, while insight departments also tap into that data, while retail operations are also using it for analysis. Not to mention marketing, estates and store development departments.
While it is great that the data is being used in so many ways, for so many things, the separate entities are working alone rather than pooling the information in one place for instant access across the whole business. This is where a Central Shopper Hub comes into play – and here’s how to build one:
Step 1: Audit the business so that you know who already owns or subscribes to the information
Step 2: Create a single repository for all shopper data, knowledge and insight
Step 3: Make the data repository easily accessible to the entire organisation
For a model, look at Google and how it pulled together so many millions of sources of knowledge into a cumulative stash of data on everything. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, or start sourcing data all over again, all you need to do is bring it all together in one central place.