In 500 BC, Greek philosopher Herclitus famously said, “Change is the only constant in life”. We know this to still be true. We also know that no person or industry (including grocery retail) is immune.
Today, keeping up with change can be especially tricky. Here’s why:
- Technology is evolving at a dizzying pace
- Your customers are more tech-savvy than ever before
- Your marketing colleagues want access to big data to keep these customers loyal
- Your CEO wants to know that money is being invested intelligently and efficiently
Sometimes it seems that technology changes overnight. It’s easy to want the latest software and platforms, but constantly chasing trends doesn’t make fiscal sense. On the other hand, hanging on to legacy systems can quickly send your company the way of the cassette tape and the dial-up modem.
All of this puts you at a re-platforming crossroads; how do you know if it’s time for you to re-platform and how should you approach it?
Start with what you know
You know that change is inevitable and that innovative, forward-thinking businesses that are poised to embrace it are the ones that survive. You also know that today’s grocery retail customers are tech-savvy and expect you to be, too.
With the unprecedented rise in mobile technologies and intense competition from retail powerhouses like Amazon and Walmart, it’s easy to feel small and powerless. However, with proper planning, you can stay at the head of the grocery retail pack.
Consider the stats
Let’s start by taking a look at some stats: In 1990, 0.05% of the world’s population was on the internet. Today, half of the world is connected.
How does this affect grocery retail? According to a Kantar Worldpanel report, online grocery sales grew by 15% in 2016 and topped $48 billion worldwide. The report projects that by 2025, grocery eCommerce will be 9% of the market and will be worth $150 billion worldwide.
Don't forget mobile
However, it’s not just about the internet. The evolution of mobile technology is also shaking things up. Just consider these stats from the 2017 CISCO Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast:
- Global mobile data traffic grew 63% in 2016
- Growth has been 18-fold over the past 5 years
- Almost half a billion mobile devices and connections were added in 2016
- Average smartphone use grew 38% in 2016
- Global mobile data traffic will increase seven-fold between 2016 and 2021
- By 2021 there will be 1.5 mobile devices per capita
So, is it time for you to re-platform?
Today’s customers connect with you (and your competitors) through multiple devices from multiple places. You need a system that’s as fast and as adaptable as they are. Your platform should bridge online and offline offerings and be flexible enough to keep up with the demands of today’s tech-savvy consumers. If you have an in-house, custom-built legacy system, it’s likely not doing this, at least not efficiently.
It might be time to take a different road and look at SaaS/cloud-based platforms. Efficient and cost effective, SaaS platforms allow for faster updating and require less staff to maintain them so you can focus on what’s important: growing your business.