In this third, and final installment of a conversation on the pandemic’s effect on the grocery store industry, Arin Alexander, VP of Client Relations, Vixxo, and Michael Sutherland, VP of Solutions Architecture, Vixxo, discussed the challenges of maintaining a great grocery shopping experience for the customer while reducing operational costs.

In terms of planning for the future, the past several months has thrown out the rule book for grocery stores. The items people are looking to purchase, in what amounts, and the way they want to buy grocery items are all different now, and it changes day-to-day and week-to-week. How does a grocery store tackle making changes to meet the needs of the customer experience today, keep an eye on future needs after the pandemic, and still maintain cost efficiencies?

“I see the successful grocers planning for the long-term consequences and long-term expenses of the changes they’re making today, and coupling that with an intentional change to their brand,” Sutherland said.

Some services that can create additional revenue streams for stores, such as online ordering, grocery pick-up, and delivery, saw quick adoption during the early months of the pandemic.

“Everyone has the grocery pick-up now,” Alexander said. “Even the grocery stores that didn’t have it before this happened; it was amazing to see how quickly they got on board to do it, and how much investment they put in to make it happen. They may have planned to do that a year from now, especially some of the smaller grocery stores that we even have in our backyard here. They never had it before, and all of a sudden, now they do.”

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