When supermarket customers are greeted with sweet pineapple or the scent of freshly fried potato pancakes, there is often a clever concept behind it. In the competition against convenient online retailing, retailers appeal to all their cutomers’ senses to make shopping an experience. The supermarket should become a place where customers enjoy to spend their time.
It is not primarily the type of marketing that is important, but the quality of the product range. “More than 40 million customers benefit every day from an enormous product selection, format variety and price stability,” says Stefan Genth, Managing Director of the Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE), underlining the food retail trade in Germany as an important interface to the consumer. And the assortment plays a particularly important role for the customer in the choice of supermarket or discounter.
Nearly 85 percent of Germans go to grocery stores where all their shopping can be done at once. “If a store doesn’t offer enough choice, I don’t shop there,” say over 42 percent of Germans. This is the conclusion of the HDE’s 2018 Food Trade Report. The trend is clearly towards one-stop shopping. Freely based on the real slogan “Once there, everything in”. This means that supermarkets and discounters have to offer a broad range of products. In order to buy organic products, the customer does not want to have to go to a health food store. In order to get meat from the region and sustainable production with a clear conscience, the customer does not want to go to the local butcher. In order to get the vegetables from the farmer next door, the farmer does not want to have to make his way additionally. At best, the market has all these products at its disposal and markets them accordingly.
The customer is king
To guarantee this, the retail trade must focus on what is important: the customer. The well-known proverb “The customer is king” is no coincidence. What does the customer expect? What products does he buy? What product characteristics does he pay attention to? How important are organic quality and sustainability to them? What marketing measures do they take on? Does he buy the pineapple because he could try it? Does he take the potato pancakes with him because his appetite has been stimulated? Only those who know their customers’ needs can adjust their assortment to them and create an experience around them. This costs a lot of time and personnel.
Optimal planning of personnel deployment
But what can you do if you don’t have time to meet your customers’ expectations? All you have to do is see where you can save time. For example, in the disposal process. Many managers in retail don’t pay much attention to this topic. While your employees laboriously throw cardboard boxes into small shopping carts in order to manually fill a baler in the next step, others simply push a large, filled collection truck under the baler – the rest goes by itself. As already mentioned in the Black-Friday article, this not only saves 500 working hours per year, but also an entire work step. You have more time for your assortment, your customers and your marketing.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems also save time. These systems support all business processes in a company. Whether in procurement, sales, human resources, accounting or warehouse logistics, all these areas are connected via a common database. Which goods are still in the warehouse? Has replenishment already been ordered? What marketing activities are arriving at other locations? All employees can quickly access the information. Based on this, workflows can be optimized and the assortment can be aligned with the customer on the basis of documented empirical values. As an ERP system, godesys is ideal for the food retail trade due to its customer orientation. This year, the system was awarded ERP System of the Year by the Center For Enterprise Research of the University of Potsdam.
While the automatic baling press takes care of the cardboard boxes in the warehouse and an ERP system keeps an eye on your processes, think about the next trial campaign in your business.
Strautmann Umwelttechnik GmbH