Surviving Amazon And Whole Foods: Focus On The Customer

Jenn Vande Zande

The seismic announcement of the acquisition between Amazon and Whole Foods for $13.4 billion in cash left the world of grocery retail reeling. As the dust has begun to settle, we’re sharing what it means, and what it doesn’t mean, for grocery retailers.

Don’t panic

“The worst thing that a retailer could do right now is to have a knee-jerk reaction and try to find the quickest and cheapest way to go online,” said Stephanie Waters, retail industry principal at SAP Hybris. “If you do that, there is zero doubt that you’ll have to reinvest in it within one to three years. You need a platform for now and in the future, and you need a solid plan.”

To compete successfully in the new world of grocery, retailers need to incorporate value, experience, and convenience into an amazing and individualized experience for their customers.

John McCoy, digital industry advisor, says that it’s imperative that grocers think about the right things. “All traffic should be important—both physical and digital. The focus must be on knowing your customer on a very personal level; individualized engagement is how you win their trust and their loyalty.”

Your biggest investment has to be your customer

Though the first response of grocer retailers might be to race to get some sort of minimally viable online service in place, that move could end up being very costly. Grocers must recognize that any investment must be made with the consumer experience in mind, or their online retail will be for naught.

It’s not enough to use a third-party delivery partner to assist with the online purchase process. You need a customer engagement and commerce strategy that will allow you to own and provide outstanding, individualized customer experiences every single time, no matter where they are interacting with you.

If you aren’t incorporating a solid and strategic plan for providing an amazing customer experience, you will not be able to compete in this new landscape. It’s that simple. Retailers need to offer contextual, consistent, and relevant experiences across all touchpoints.

By continuously enriching existing customer profile data from internal and external sources, you’ll be able to leverage predictive and advanced analytics in real-time, allowing you to make offers that are highly individualized and that “wow” the consumer.

The new aisles of grocery retail are stocked with convenience

One of the most important factors to keep in mind when detailing a strategic plan for your grocery retail is that convenience is critical to the process. This means allowing your consumer to shop whenever and however they want.


Jenn Vande Zande

About Jenn Vande Zande

Jennifer is an experienced writer, editor and content strategist, and is the Managing Editor of The Future of Customer Engagement & Commerce. For over 16 years, she has worked with brands to provide copy writing, marketing content, technical writing, corporate communications, and grant writing.