Retail is in trouble lately, and everyone is trying to find ways to combat that. For Hershey’s, whose “success is inherently tied to the success of brick and mortar,” that fight means creating a grocery store of the future. Using innovative strategies to meld traditional retail with the digital age and produce a “hyper focus on the shopper,” the candy supplier feels that it can keep both perimeter and center store numbers strong.
That grocery store of the future concept is called Medley, which features conceptual upgrades that help Hershey’s and other unplanned purchase selections thrive.
“We believe that every retailer has the right to win,” said Laura Renaud, of Hershey’s communication team. Here are a few strategies that may help retailers adapt to the future of food retail.
1. Click & Collect
Removing the cash register from the equation does not have to hamper the likelihood of unplanned purchases, Hershey contends. Its research shows that including banner ads on the checkout page to remind shoppers of potential snack selections would recreate the impact of the traditional candy rack that greets them in the physical checkout line.
2. Grocery Lockers
Pickup lockers give shoppers the flexibility to swing by and grab their prepaid grocery orders when it’s convenient for them. The lockers can also be outfitted with vending machines.
3. Snap & Add
Customers encounter food and other packaged goods almost everywhere they go. Why limit their shopping experience to the aisles or website of their preferred store? Hershey foresees a future where shoppers can snap photos of products they see on TV, while window-shopping or at a friend’s dinner party, and instantly add that item to their upcoming shopping list.
4. Medley Meal Exploration
Demo kitchens in stores could allow customers to watch a meal being prepared by a pro, taste it and decide to buy all of the ingredients that make up the recipe. With a quick swipe on the store’s app, all of the necessary components can be added to the digital shopping list in one shot.
5. Medley Oasis of Freshness
The Medley model understands that finding nutritious, healthy food is sometimes difficult in urban environments. It can also require a lot of research for those unversed in the subject. Hershey’s feels that a location composed of movable shipping containers and run by health food experts would be a draw to those who wish to learn more about fit lifestyles.
6. Medley New Reality
This program would take customers on a virtual trip to different corners of the world where the food they seek comes from. Via a simulated experience, shoppers could browse markets in Mexico or butcher shops in Italy. After making selections in this VR market place, the choices will be added to the consumer’s digital shopping list and delivered in time for dinner.