2015 is approaching fast and ch-ch-ch-change is on it’s way. ApplePay already allows iPhone users to pay for purchases with their phones. As a local Bentonville resident, I have witnessed and tested Walmart’s new online ordering and drive-through pick-up service. Both of these innovations make the consumer’s life easier in an age where time is so sparse. When it comes to consumers and their grocery wants and needs, here’s what I see happening in 2015:
We never leave home without our smart phones. They help us navigate, locate, make decisions, communicate and now make purchases. You will see more and more creative ways for people to use their phones for shopping needs.
Let’s face it; we share. We share what we eat, where we go and our opinions on anything and everything. Our followers are our friends and what do friends do…they give feedback. This is the way we socialize and it won’t stop anytime soon.
Time continues to become less of something we have and more of something we cherish. Consumers seek quicker trips to the store for the necessities. You’ll never have to walk into a massive store again. You actually won’t have to leave your house to grocery shop again if you don’t want to.
More and more retailers will begin hosting in-store “events” like cooking classes, wine tasting, sushi bars and other special perks like free valet parking to entice customers into the store for experiences.
Stores will become smaller and there will be more of them. Just this past year, two Walmart Neighborhood Markets opened less than 3 miles from my home. Since consumers already seek out convenience and would like to save time when necessity shopping, an in-and-out trip to the store is much appreciated.
Real Time Reviews at the Shelf
Social media will be at the shelf, literally. Apple has been pushing iBeacons for months now, and an in-store beacon promotion platform called Shelfbucks (http://www.shelfbucks.com/) allows shoppers to see ratings, reviews, product availability, download coupons, see special offers and get recipes just as easily as someone making an online purchase.
Local Specialty Favorites
Retailers are bringing local favorites into the stores where convenience meets specialty. For example, we have a local florist that everyone knows and loves called Shirley’s. Shirley’s has unique floral arrangements and when you want something special, you head to downtown Bentonville and pick something up at Shirley’s. The local Walmart Neighborhood Markets now have a special section of Shirley’s flower bouquets!
Where do you see happening in the grocery world in 2015?