Over the past few years, successive major challenges have rocked the grocery industry, from labour shortages, the pandemic and supply chain disruptions to skyrocketing inflation and the general cost-of-living crisis. In the face of such unpredictable external forces, grocery stores have had to be creative and flexible in order to maintain their customer base and profit margins.
In this article, discover the main challenges, strategies and grocery store industry trends that will shape the sector in 2023.
Grappling with inflation
With the current cost-of-living crisis, consumers are financially stressed. Getting good value for money will be a top priority for shoppers this year. Grocery stores will need to find the delicate balance between managing ongoing supply chain disruptions and the fluctuating costs of goods while maintaining profits and avoiding alienating customers.
High inflation is having a significant impact on consumer buying behavior, with increased demand for less expensive options. Many retailers are providing private-label products as a lower-cost alternative to try to avoid losing customers to wholesale or discount stores.
Promotions and messaging
Other popular cost-cutting methods include rewards cards and loyalty programs, coupons and sales. This year, grocery stores will want to employ innovative promotions and sales strategies to help retain cash-strapped consumers. Messaging that demonstrates empathy for customers’ current financial difficulties and emphasizes efforts to keep costs down will also be a grocery industry trend in 2023.
Combating the labor shortage through automation
With the growing labor shortage, one of the main grocery industry trends for 2023 will be taking advantage of new technology and digitizing operations where possible to try to lessen the pressure on remaining employees and improve retention.
Businesses will be shifting more towards self-checkout, digital transactions and self-service kiosks. Some will even implement innovative technologies such as smart carts, which can automatically scan and charge items as customers place them inside. Automation can also be used to improve restocking and click-and-collect order fulfilment.
E-commerce and omnichannel retail
The electronic alternatives to in-store grocery shopping that were jump-started by the pandemic are here to stay. 2023’s grocery industry trends will include looking for ways to create a seamless omnichannel experience and manage both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores together as a unified business.
More and more consumers are considering sustainability efforts when deciding where to shop. Providing more local produce, using recycled packaging where possible and reducing waste are rising grocery store industry trends that will help businesses cultivate an eco-friendly reputation and improve both profitability and customer retention at a time when neither is easy to come by.
Electronic shelf labels: the perfect technology for the grocery industry trends of 2023!
Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) don’t just display prices—they provide a variety of functions that are incredibly useful for grocery stores in 2023. They completely eliminate the need for wasteful paper labels and the labor required to update them manually. These digital price tags for grocery stores can display different prices for perishable items based on their expiry dates, effectively reducing food waste.
Electronic shelf labels are equipped with color-coded flashing lights that can be used to quickly guide employees to products that need to be restocked or items for pick-up and delivery orders, vastly improving efficiency. Both ESLs and other grocery store digital signage can be used to make customers more aware of promotions and sales.
Digital pricing solutions for the grocery store industry
JRTech provides grocery stores and other retailers with top-quality digital pricing solutions and signage for the modern age. Our electronic shelf labels help businesses streamline their operations, reduce waste, improve the customer experience and much more! Let us equip you for the challenges of 2023—contact us today.