2019 CGA Conference: THE EXPONENTIAL GROCER
introducing the exponential grocer
Competition today is unforgiving and ruthless – no one is spared - especially in California’s grocery business. Consumer expectations and behaviors, shaped by new market entrants and technologies, have changed exponentially. The gap between what customers want, and what we can continuously deliver is widening.
From direct-to-consumer and subscription of groceries, to the rise of artificial intelligence & voice to new experiential retail concepts, grocers are continuously asking how do we embrace technology to differentiate ourselves from our competitors? How do we bridge the gap for our customers and business partners?
Today, with exponential technologies, we need to think like an exponential grocer.
This is a grocer who is approaching problems with a radically different lens, and continuously finding opportunities in disruption.
Here is a glimpse:
Direct-to-consumer and subscription
Consumers are becoming slaves to their platforms. And there’s no question that delivery (and our laziness) are growing exponentially.
I’m fascinated by what UberEats is doing in food, and perhaps, soon for groceries. They have bundled all the restaurants together, but are simultaneously unbundling menus by highlighting the restaurants’ core dishes. At some point, UberEats will collect so much data and user reliance that they can create their own kitchens (or more likely partner with existing kitchens) to deliver their own food.
They’ve also created a new kind of business around ghost restaurants. One day, we’ll see a ghost restaurant become a household brand name nationally, and they won’t have a physical presence.
And yes, the same thing will happen for groceries.
finding the opportunities in disruption
With all the disruption in the California grocery market, there is a lot of businesses worried about their ultimate fate. But, let me remind you, that everyone is thinking the same thing.
This has been the story of disruption throughout history. It's also beautiful because it forces everyone to find the opportunities in disruption.
It forces everyone to continuously innovate.