Friday, April 12, 2024

Waitrose Reacting is not Enough CEO’s Need to Lead with Relevance


Focusing on the consumer is a success clue no CEO can overlook. Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® believes that reshuffling the chains in the executive office makes little sense unless the focus shifts away form hot button short term tactics to a customer focused strategy that evolves with consumers not one that simply follows companies that are more focused or getting press, than catering to the needs of consumers.

Waitrose has some very good and popular, Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food. Here is the thing they don’t have enough and are missing the mark on mix and match meal bundling opportunities according to the Grocerant Guru®. Here are some things to think about:

1.        Price: Waitrose is known for its quality and freshness, which can come at a premium price. Consumers might find ready-made meals expensive compared to cooking from scratch.

2.        Taste: Some may feel the taste or quality suffers compared to meals prepared at home.

3.        Selection: The variety of options might be limited compared to what you could create yourself.

4.        Freshness: While advertised as fresh, some might be wary of pre-cut produce or pre-made meals losing freshness over time.

5.        Ingredients: Concerns could include preservatives, additives, or unknown sources of ingredients.

Here is a grocery sector conundrum: Self-Checkout: Convenience or Open Season? Fostering Trust at the Grocery Kiosk

Self-checkout lanes have become a staple in grocery stores, promising a speedy and efficient shopping experience. However, these unmanned aisles come with a hidden cost: an increase in shoplifting. Studies suggest a significant portion of theft occurs at self-checkouts, impacting stores and raising concerns about customer trust.

But is this a battleground, or is there a way to bridge the gap? Here's how grocers can create a self-checkout experience that fosters trust and minimizes theft, ultimately strengthening the customer relationship.

Understanding the Thief's Mindset:

Shoplifters at self-checkout kiosks often fall into two categories: the "opportunist" who might under-ring an item or two, and the "professional" with a more calculated approach. Grocers can address both by:

·         Enhancing Security Measures: Implementing weight discrepancy alerts, clear surveillance signage, and random attendant checks can deter casual theft.

·         Streamlining the Interface: Confusing menus or unclear instructions create situations where customers might unintentionally omit items. User-friendly interfaces with clear prompts minimize room for error.

Building Trust Through Transparency:

Customers are more likely to be honest when they feel valued. Grocers can build trust by:

·         Highlighting Benefits: Clearly communicate the benefits of self-checkout, like faster lines and convenience.

·         Promoting Responsible Use: Use signage and in-store announcements to politely remind customers of proper self-checkout etiquette.

·         Investing in Customer Service: Even with self-checkout, ensure friendly and helpful staff are readily available for assistance. This shows a commitment to customer experience, not just loss prevention.

The Future of Self-Checkout:

Technology holds the key to a future where self-checkout is both efficient and secure. Consider:

·         Automated Weight and Scan Systems: Eliminate the need for manual scanning altogether, minimizing opportunities for theft.

·         AI-powered "Virtual Cashiers": Utilize facial recognition and voice prompts to guide customers and offer real-time assistance.

Now consider this:

Consumers buying Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meals want to get into the store and out fast! No then, self-checkout lanes offer a valuable service, but neglecting the issue of theft erodes trust. By creating a secure and user-friendly experience, grocers can foster a positive customer relationship and ensure everyone benefits from the convenience of self-checkout. In the end, it's about striking a balance between efficiency and trust, paving the way for a more rewarding grocery shopping experience for all.

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Is you brand dynamic or static?  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

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