A recent consumer survey found that two-thirds of Britons are taking their summer holiday in the UK this year: a 41% increase on 2012. The ‘staycation’ has made a big impression on UK tourism and could have a huge impact on UK supermarkets too. They just need to figure out how to attract staycationers and how to convert sales once they’re in store.
Firstly, they must communicate with shoppers in a timely and personalised way. Supermarkets need to be able to capitalise on the British summertime, no matter how short it may be. This was a huge challenge in the past, as supermarkets had to choose advertising campaigns six months in advance, which left little flexibility to jump on an unexpected hot day, for example.
The introduction of mobile and social media has helped eradicate this challenge, as it enables supermarkets to spot trends, and send relevant ads or offers directly to mobiles. They can also hijack unexpected events, such as Andy Murray’s sensational Wimbledon victory, by sending out offers for Champagne or strawberries, say.
Nevertheless, there’s no point getting shoppers through the door, excited to buy a bottle of discounted Pimm’s, only to find that they’ve sold out. To prevent this, supermarkets must ensure they have an agile supply chain in place. They can’t afford to rely solely on demand forecasts. To be truly agile, supermarkets need to be able to read and respond to real-time market information.
Supermarkets must invest in data analytics tools to collect and interrupt data across all channels and integrate this information with their suppliers’ data so they can act as soon as the demand spikes are registered.
Supermarkets also need to be able to develop greater brand loyalty. Generating the right offers, communicating them effectively, creating the perfect store environment and ensuring shoppers get the goods they’re looking for are all vital in producing a successful shopping experience.
With an estimated 7.8 million Brits holidaying at home this year, there is a huge opportunity for supermarkets - they just need to be ready to take advantage.
Sergio Nogueira is partner, retail, CPG & Logistics in Europe at Infosys