Grocery stores are constantly looking to increase their market share and revenue in the massive $600 billion industry in which they belong. Kroger is hoping to accomplish this by leveraging technology, services, and an expanded product line. These concerted efforts by Kroger are an attempt to entice consumers and make decisions to advance efficiency and profitability.
According to Yahoo! Finance and Business Insider, Kroger has been consistently increasing its number of offerings. These include natural and organic foods as well as items for customers on a budget. The company has also expanded outside of its traditional grocery offerings and into home and personal goods. In addition, the chain has been equipping their stores with high-tech functionality that supplies store managers with real time data and use of Omni-channel tactics to further add value to their stores and the experience they offer consumers. Kroger also utilizes technology via digital customer accounts and recently reported that 17 million customers are now registered at their stores. Subsequently, Kroger has added a click and collect program, which they call Click List, and are looking at entering the realm of home delivery for those who would rather shop online.
Starting in 2012, Kroger has been equipping store locations with a technology called QueVision which uses sensors and predictive analytics that give store managers real-time data to act upon. Every time a customer walks into the store, the sensors note their arrival and forecast when long lines at the register will occur. This enables managers to make informed decisions as to where cashiers are needed before lines even begin to grow. Data is collected over time to make adjustments for certain days of the week or busy seasons. Remarkably, average wait times have been reduced to less than 30 seconds, compared to a wait time of four minutes before the feature was implemented!
Kroger understands the value of innovation and the fact that they must change with the ever-evolving customer landscape. As stated by Kroger spokesperson Keith Dailey, “We’re looking to develop an Omni-channel offering. We believe our customers will tell us how they want to interact.” The food industry must surely look toward the future and adapt strategies to compete in an industry with a changing environment and access to vast stores of data.