18 September 2023
18 September 2023
The grocery industry is facing a perfect storm of challenges in 2023. Inflation, changing customer behavior, supply chain disruptions and worker shortages are putting pressure on their profit margin and performance.
Grocers that can’t adapt risk falling behind. But those that can find ways to streamline their grocery store operations and increase their productivity have an opportunity to thrive.
One way grocery retailers can adapt is by leveraging technology.
Digital tools can automate routine tasks, improve communication, accelerate onboarding and upskilling and provide real-time insights into performance. This can lead to significant improvements in operational efficiency and productivity and reduced grocery store operating costs.
In this blog post, we’ll explore five ways that grocery retailers can use technology to streamline their store operations and increase productivity.
We’ll look at how some retailers have used YOOBIC to digitize store tasks, processes, learning and communications. And we will see how these digital transformations can lead to improved efficiency, agility, and profitability.
So, if you’re looking for ways to increase productivity, or if you’re just interested in how technology is transforming the grocery retail industry, keep reading. This post is for you.
One of the challenges that grocery stores face is the lack of real-time data on store performance.
Store managers and regional teams need to know how well their stores are executing their tasks and processes, such as inventory management, merchandising, pricing, promotions, customer service, safety, and compliance.
However, many retailers still rely on manual and paper-based methods or legacy tools to manage their grocery operations. This leads to several problems, such as:
To overcome these problems, grocers need to digitize their supermarket operations to drive operational efficiency. Modern retail operations solutions can also help them to:
Lidl has been expanding strongly throughout Europe for over 40 years. They needed to achieve visibility at the regional and national level for their supermarkets.
By implementing YOOBIC’s all-in-one frontline employee experience platform, Lidl is able to conduct daily supermarket inspections and assign action plans right inside the YOOBIC app. That means store teams can access and act on these plans from their phones, right in the flow of work.
Now, Lidl’s store leaders and store teams can effectively collaborate in real-time through easy photo sharing and comments.
And at headquarters, leaders get the visibility and insights they need to ensure stores are compliant with company guidelines at any time.
“Before YOOBIC, it was difficult for us to understand the situation of our supermarkets across the country. Now we are able to monitor compliance in real time and understand our strengths and areas for improvement.”
- Thibaut Lièvre, Head of Sales Organization, Lidl France
Watch how Lidl digitizes grocery store operations to drive operational excellence and productivity.
When store teams are not informed of the latest news, updates, and instructions, they can’t perform their best in a rapidly changing environment.
This also affects their engagement and motivation, as they feel disconnected from the organization's purpose and vision.
Streamlined communication is essential for creating a positive and productive store culture. It helps store teams to coordinate their tasks, share their feedback, and learn from each other.
Just as important: it helps them to feel valued, recognized, and supported by their peers and managers.
However, many grocery stores still rely on outdated and inefficient methods of communication, such as emails, phone calls, or printed documents — often a combination of these.
These methods are not suitable for the fast-paced and dynamic nature of retail, where store employees need to be on the floor, supporting customers.
To improve store communications, grocery retailers can use modern retail communications solutions that help them to:
By improving their store communications, grocery retailers can boost their performance and employee experience. They can also create a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent in a tight labor market.
As their store network grew, Alnatura needed a tool to improve store operations, communication and compliance. Alnatura was looking to centralize all store communications and tasks in a mobile app that was easy to use and engaging for store employees.
By using YOOBIC, Alnatura was able to reach every store employee with important updates, increase store compliance and increase visibility by integrating all tasks, data and communications seamlessly into one platform which employees are enthusiastic to use.
“We wanted to have a solution that was focused on stores, a lot of tools were more geared towards office workers, so they weren’t as easy to send information to store employees. Whereas YOOBIC is mobile-first and designed specifically for store and field teams.”
- Rouven Zickwolf, Retail Coordinator, Alnatura
>> Read the full case study for details of how Alnatura’s strategy for improving store communications has helped them achieve a consistent in-store experience across all supermarkets.
Repetitive store processes are the routine and mundane tasks that store teams have to perform every day, such as opening checklists, daily store reports, inventory checks, product recalls, and so on. These processes are essential for ensuring the smooth running of the store, but they can also take up a lot of time and resources that could be better spent on serving customers and improving the store experience.
However, many grocery stores still rely on manual and paper-based methods to complete their repetitive store processes. This leads to several problems, such as:
To increase productivity in their supermarkets, grocery retailers need to simplify their repetitive store processes by using retail task management solutions. These solutions enable food retailers to:
Vitalia struggled with time-consuming store communication and manual processes, leading to inconsistent implementation across stores, and a lack of visibility into store operations. Vitalia needed to digitize all store processes like weekly checklists, marketing and promotional campaigns, and product recalls across 650 employees in 94 stores.
By using YOOBIC’s retail task management solution, Vitalia was able to free up time for store colleagues, and increase completion of daily checks and compliance to 100%.
“We were able to massively increase both sales and monthly advertising campaigns. Weekly product hits and promotions are consistently completed. Completion of promotional campaigns in the branches has doubled. This wouldn’t have been possible without YOOBIC.”
- Florian Lindner, Operations Manager, Vitalia
>> Read the full case study: See how Vitalia modernized their supermarket operations to scale their store network.
Regional team processes are the activities that regional teams perform to support and supervise their stores, such as store visits, audits, and coaching.
These processes are essential for ensuring the quality and consistency of store performance, as well as providing feedback and guidance to store teams. However, many grocery stores still rely on in-person visits to conduct their regional team processes. This leads to several problems, including:
Grocers need to digitize their regional team processes by using technology so they are able to conduct some of them remotely. Modern retail operations solutions can help grocery retailers:
Before implementing YOOBIC, Lidl faced challenges with their regional team processes. The communication between HQ, regional, and store teams was complex and inefficient. Regional teams spent a lot of time preparing store visits, collecting information, building action plans, and consolidating data into reports.
With YOOBIC, Lidl France’s regional teams now have better visibility into store performance and ensure the correct deployment of projects and equipment to meet company standards.
“YOOBIC enables me to send the completed store visit report directly to the supermarket. This way, the supermarket manager can instantly see the photos, action plans, and comments I’ve made in the app.”
- Miki Otosaka, Area Sales Manager, Lidl France
Upskilling store teams means providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their tasks efficiently and effectively. This can improve their productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee retention.
However, many grocery retailers still rely on traditional training methods, such as in-person sessions, take-home materials, or conventional e-learning courses.
These methods are not suitable as they are not accessible or engaging for the majority of store employees who are often deskless, and may not have a corporate email address or a desktop computer.
To accelerate onboarding and upskilling of their store teams, grocery retailers can leverage mobile learning solutions that provide them with short, digestible, and fun learning content that fits into their flow of work. Mobile learning solutions can help grocery retailers:
Naturalia is a leading French organic grocery retailer with over 200 stores and 1,500 employees.
Naturalia recognized the imperative to provide its store teams with regular and engaging training on topics such as product knowledge, customer experience, and safety. In pursuit of this goal, the company aimed to replace its existing onboarding and training e-learning platform with a more dynamic solution, one that could be accessed via mobile devices by all store employees and seamlessly integrated with their HR system.
With YOOBIC’s intuitive, gamified mico-learning capabilities, Naturalia is able to deliver short and interactive learning sessions to its store teams, regularly, which allows workers to consistently build their skills, confidence, and performance.
“The YOOBIC solution enables us to reach every member of our workforce. Onboarding and e-learning courses accessible on mobile phones have enabled us to be more agile in managing the onboarding and training of our employees throughout their working life.”
- Mélody Le Barbenchon, HR Director, Naturalia
To adapt and thrive, grocery retailers need to streamline their store operations and increase productivity by leveraging technology that:
This is a sink-or-swim period for grocers. Staying afloat is no longer a viable alternative to sinking.
By using technology to reimagine their operations, grocers can elevate store performance while others are merely treading water.
Get in touch to see these strategies in action and learn how YOOBIC helps grocery retailers like Lidl and Carrefour drive operational excellence and efficiency through digitized retail store operations.
Search the blog