fbpx

All Posts by Divyasri

woman buying groceries in a store

Modernizing the grocery shopping experience with Mobile

Modernizing the grocery shopping experience with Mobile

Nearly every industry has been revolutionized with the advent of the Internet. With the technology continuing to advance and online connectivity becoming stronger and synonymous in daily life, mobile tech played a significant role in shaping this revolution. Many retailers across fashion, electronics, etc. have made mobile an integral part of their marketing strategies.

Food retailers are not far behind while going mobile. To retain the current customer base and win over new ones, grocery retailers are implementing solutions that offer unique mobile experiences that not only provide convenience but also increase brand awareness and inculcate customer loyalty.

Besides the overall rise in mobile shopping among consumers, there are many reasons for grocery retailers and other players in the food retail industry to pivot towards implementing mobile solutions for their businesses.

Providing a complete brand experience


Grocery retailers often apply the omnichannel approach while appealing to consumer groups and mobile is becoming a crucial part in this process. By providing a tech-savvy shopper an interactive and immersive customer experience, grocers increase their chances of creating a lasting effect which amplifies their brand while resonating with the user.

For instance: A retailer can leverage social media sites, image based platforms such as Instagram to interact as a brand, vocalizing brand values through the platform. Retailers such as Amazon push promotions to showcase some of their products via Instagram on the user's feed, allowing the user to browse before selecting a product of his choice and be taken to the Amazon website. 

Keeping pace with the competition

Consumers today use the mobile as a means to search for products due to the sheer convenience it provides. Realizing this, many grocery retailers started leveraging the power of mobile technology to keep pace with their competition.

Businesses who can successfully adapt to the changing shopper trends and deliver seamless shopping experiences via integrated mobile solutions would more likely be able to convert users into loyal customers.

Personalization

Digitization has drastically transformed the way people shop while widening the berth of opportunities for the grocery retailers. With mobile sites and apps, grocers can provide their customers to have personal and unique shopping experiences where every consumer is the most important element in the scenario. This would allow grocery retailers to engage with customers in a personal manner. by providing them access to products and helping them curate their shopping experience.

Crafting loyalty programs

To encourage and reward purchasing behavior of a customer while increasing their urge to stay loyal to a specific brand, grocery retailers can leverage mobile to deliver the loyalty programs to offer benefits and entice and retain customers.

Ex: Loyalty programs such as providing reward points that can be redeemed at the end of the month or special discounts on products as an exclusive members-only benefit.

Integrating mobile app with the in-store experience

Retailers can utilize mobile apps to enhance the in-store shopping experience, making it an enjoyable shopping journey for consumers. The mobile apps could entail all the information for the products that the consumer may need, before even entering the store or providing the location of the desired product without having to go through aisles and aisles.
Another great example is the use of Beacons - when a customer would walk into the store in the range of the beacon, getting activated, it would automatically and immediately send an alert to the customer of all the special offers that the store provides.

Mobile payments

With the variety of payment options available such as mobile wallets, consumers are steadily moving away from cash and credit card payments. A mobile payment system can easily be integrated into an app to help deliver a seamless grocery shopping experience. This adds a level of convenience for the consumer, as they can easily pay using the mobile instead of having to look for their wallets and picking out cards or cash.

Amazon launched Amazon Go, in an attempt disrupt the grocery industry with its new cashier-less way of shopping. A brick and mortar setup that allows users to walk in and walk out of the store without the hassle of check out. All of this is done using the customers' smartphones. The technology automatically detects when products are taken and, or returned. When a customer is done shopping, he can just leave the store. Amazon automatically charges their account for the items they’ve walked out with and sends them the receipt.

As more people depend on their mobile devices to do regular tasks, integrating mobile solutions to help retailers interact with their customers will enable them to build innovative strategies that will elevate marketing products more effectively while adding convenience to consumers. Grocery retailers while making use of mobile apps and mobile-first sites, can apply a consumer-centric approach to their offerings. This would also have an immediate effect on the way customers perceive the brand and on the potential to build customer loyalty.

Related e-commerce articles- 

Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping
Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping With consumers changing how they purchase and engage with a brand, retailers have leveraged[...]
Importance of AI in customer loyalty
The expectations of consumers today from their favourite brands has increased ten-fold, and with big companies such as Amazon providing[...]
What is GS1 Verified? – Everything you need to know
​Live from the GS1 Connect 2019 EventWith the GS1 Connect 2019 event happening this week in Denver, Colorado, we think[...]
DataPorts and Why they Matter
​Retailers today struggle with managing all of the product content necessary to publish and maintain their online product catalog. Assembling[...]
3 ways Grocery retailers can survive in the age of Amazon
3 ways retailers can survive in the age of AmazonRetail giants like Amazon’s ability to effectively address the ever-changing customer[...]
The Impact of AI on Grocery Retail
The Impact of AI on Grocery RetailIn today’s age, grocery retailers no longer have to make guesses about what customers[...]
people shopping at a supermarket

An Evolving AI retail experience: Transforming the way consumers shop

An Evolving AI retail experience: Transforming the way consumers shop

The retail experience of a shopper is the latest area that AI and machine learning are causing disruption. Most retailers recognizing the potential of these technologies have started aligning them into their business goals. Two crucial aspects - data and computing power have changed in the past few years in the space of AI, which has opened up new opportunities for retailers today.

Computing power is easy to see, with the advent and rise of smartphones which have phenomenal computing power when compared to the bulky phones and computers used decades ago. Businesses today have unlimited computing access to train their AI algorithms. Furthermore, the data available today is extremely rich and scalable. AI systems that leverage learning techniques such as Machine learning thrive on large, rich data sets. When fed appropriately, these systems discover patterns and correlations that would be otherwise difficult with a human intervention. These machine learning approaches automate data analysis, enabling users to create models that can then be used to make useful predictions about other similar data.

Retail is a perfect fit for AI, here’s why -

The speed at which AI can be deployed depends on specific critical factors. The first is the ability to test and measure. Retail giants can effectively deploy AI and test and measure consumer response. They can also leverage AI to measure the effect on their entire supply chain.

There is some innovative and interesting robot technology taking place in retail such as Grocery giant partnering with Nuro.AI to deliver groceries to the customers’ doorsteps. But most significant changes will come from the deployment of AI rather than the use of physical robots or autonomous vehicles.

Here are 3 AI-based scenarios that will transform the retail experience -

Shopping habits

AI can detect underlying patterns in the shopping behavior of shoppers from the products that they buy and the method used to buy them. This could be a simple weekly purchase of groceries from the supermarket, the sporadic purchases of wine from the liquor store or the complex midnight icecream cravings from the local convenience store.

At a larger scale, analysis of the behavior of millions of consumers would enable supermarkets to predict the number of households that cook pasta every week. This would then inform the inventory management systems, and automatically optimize the stock of pasta. This information can also be shared with the suppliers, enabling more efficient inventory management and organized logistics.

Pricing dynamics

The pricing challenge for supermarkets involves applying the right price and the right promotion to the right product. Retail pricing optimization requires data analysis at a granular level for each customer, product and transaction. To be effective, many factors need to be considered such as the impact of sales due to the changing price over time, seasonality, weather and competitors’ promotions.

A well-defined machine learning program can factor in all variations, including details such as purchase histories and product preferences to develop deep insights and pricing tailored to maximize revenue and ultimately, profit.

Customer feedback

In the past, customer feedback was collected through forms and feedback cards that were filled out and placed in a suggestions box. The feedback had to be manually read and acted upon appropriately. With the rise of social media, the platforms were leveraged to express feedback publicly. Retailers subsequently engaged in social media scraping software to respond, resolve and engage with customers.

With the growing innovations, machine learning will play a larger role in this space. Machine learning and AI systems will be able to analyze unstructured data from multiple sources such as verbal comments or video content.  

The evolving retail experience

As a shopper moves through various stages in life, the circumstances and spending habits change. AI and machine learning models will adjust and be able to predict the needs of the consumer before the consumer even searches for a product.

This shift to predictive marketing would change the way shoppers purchase products, bringing in suggestions and recommendations that they would not have even considered. The possibilities would widen, all because of AI - for both consumers and retailers alike.

Related e-commerce articles:

Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping
Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping With consumers changing how they purchase and engage with a brand, retailers have leveraged[...]
Importance of AI in customer loyalty
The expectations of consumers today from their favourite brands has increased ten-fold, and with big companies such as Amazon providing[...]
What is GS1 Verified? – Everything you need to know
​Live from the GS1 Connect 2019 EventWith the GS1 Connect 2019 event happening this week in Denver, Colorado, we think[...]
DataPorts and Why they Matter
​Retailers today struggle with managing all of the product content necessary to publish and maintain their online product catalog. Assembling[...]
3 ways Grocery retailers can survive in the age of Amazon
3 ways retailers can survive in the age of AmazonRetail giants like Amazon’s ability to effectively address the ever-changing customer[...]
The Impact of AI on Grocery Retail
The Impact of AI on Grocery RetailIn today’s age, grocery retailers no longer have to make guesses about what customers[...]
CPG Brands in a supermarket aisle

CPG Brands: Engaging with shoppers using the Direct to Shopper approach

CPG Brands: Engaging with shoppers using the Direct to Shopper approach

Until a decade ago, shoppers would walk into a store with a handwritten shopping list. However, they wouldn’t necessarily have written down specific brands for those items. Shoppers at that time would be informed about different brands either through the advertising or the interaction they would have had with the brand or what the label on the product explained.

Today, shoppers are no longer restricted to the labels or brand interactions. They are fully equipped with multiple resources to make purchase decisions. They can discover anything about a brand just by using their smartphones to browse product or brand reviews and other shoppers’ opinions. Today’s shoppers are better informed about products even before having to enter the store.

The current situation

The economic conditions of the past decade have impacted the way people shop. However, Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have not been able to scale with the rapidly changing consumer behavior at the same pace.

Shoppers today are more demanding of the products they purchase and expect that every product that they purchase is worth the expense, so they invest time and effort into researching and purchasing products via social media platforms or online outlets. While this bump in the volume of data generated by shoppers is valuable, CPG brands are still yet to make business decisions to align themselves with this new wave of shoppers.

The direct to shopper approach

CPG brands need to have end-to-end capabilities to market directly to today’s demanding and high value-focused shopper. However, brands need to better understand how today’s shopper has evolved. The technology today is directed towards a seamless customer experience and is placing the power into the shopper’s hands, opening a wealth of opportunities for brands as all the touch points with a shopper have become digital.

Millennials shoppers are the prime focus as they are technologically savvy and adapt to new technologies far more easily than their previous generations. This group of shoppers also prefer to have social interactions to inform their shopping decisions. Millennials, compared to any other demographic, expect their shopping experience to be personalized and don’t hesitate to express their grief via social media or other portals if the brand fails to deliver on their promise. CPGs can not only leverage this data to influence the shoppers’ purchasing decisions but also to invest in digital platforms to be more involved in their shopping journey.

Implementing an effective Direct to Shopper strategy

CPG brands can leverage email addresses and build on shopper preferences, allowing shoppers to indicate product interests, lifestyle preferences, and communication channels. This would help build a holistic view of the shopper, and develop basic shopper segmentation. These shopper segments can then be used to develop offers and shopping experiences. This further helps evaluate the Direct to shopper effectiveness in an e-commerce environment and help design e-commerce into the greater business model.

This enables CPG brands to acquire complete shopper data including information such as browsing history, purchase behavior information and help develop a true personal shopper experience.

Shoppers are constantly interacting with different brands through digital and mobile. The key for CPG brands to make meaningful revenue growth is to directly target today’s shopper by directly being involved in the shopper’s journey by interacting directly with them. This would help them to further emphasize the shopper needs, leading to an increase in shopper activation, and drive stronger revenue growth.

Related e-commerce articles:

grocery shopping for millennial shoppers

Millennial shoppers: How are they impacting grocery retail?

Millennial shoppers: How are they impacting the grocery retail landscape?

Millennial purchasing behavior greatly impacts the current retail landscape, and retailers, having realized this, are making Millennials their prime focus. Millennial shoppers are distinctly different from older generations as they are more racially diverse, more educated, and technologically-abled. Most of this demographic group are passing through the initial phase of their respective careers and are single or are starting their own families. Their grocery shopping habits are likely to change with time, but current differences from older generations could have implications for future food demand.

Millennials are price-sensitive but place preference for personalized offerings. However, they are ready to shell out money if the quality of the products is worth the amount. Furthermore, millennials are also fast in acclimatizing themselves to new technologies and are embracing newer grocery options such as online ordering/delivery and meal kits while navigating in-store and digital channels. They are demanding healthier and fresher food, including fruits and vegetables for at home preparations, but place a higher preference for convenience as compared to other generations.

Millennials Purchase More Prepared Foods

Millennial shoppers generally purchase a larger share of prepared foods such as pasta, sugar, and candies than the other generations. Prepared foods such as foods that are ready to heat and eat or just ready to eat such as canned soup, frozen pizza, sandwiches, pasta, salads, and rotisserie chicken. They also devote a part of their share of at home food preparation expenditures to grains, poultry, and red meat. The prepared foods require minimal preparation while grains and meats require cooking.

In comparison to GenX households, Millennials spend the least amount of money on food that requires at-home preparation. However, as income rises, there is a small positive effect on per capita at-home prepared food expenditure. While each preceding, older generation spends more on at-home food preparation than the younger generations and there is a larger gap between the Baby Boomers and Generation X.

Income governs food budgets

Income plays an important role for millennial shoppers. As income rises, expenditure shares for vegetables, fruits, red meats, and sugar increase while shares for poultry decreases as incomes rise. Millennial households generally allocate the lowest amount of their at-home food budgets to red meat and poultry. On average, expenditure for red meats decreases with the younger generation.

This health-conscious and nutritionally-aware generation is extremely mindful of what food they consume and the analysis of at-home grocery expenditure is important. The food purchasing behavior of Millennials not only determines their own dietary quality but also of their offsprings and the future generations. Grocery store shopping behaviors, however, are not permanent and may shift with time and millennial shoppers may find themselves in a position to swap frozen foods to a home-cooked meal in the near future.

Many studies have been focused on looking at how the largest living generation impacts food choices and selections in the grocery aisles. While they are aiming for healthier, fresher foods, they are also looking for more convenience. Trend lines and analysis are important to help fix the right building blocks and retailers to develop strategies and policies addressing the food industry issues.

Related e-commerce articles:

millennials sitting on the stairs with a laptop

Millennials: Capturing the largest spending demographic

Millennials: Capturing the largest spending demographic

Being the largest shopper segment, Millennials are currently a prime focus for all the retail businesses. This technology-driven and multichannel-hopping age group are on the threshold of creating pivotal disruptions in all segments. It is extremely critical for retailers to adapt their strategies to meet Millennials' needs. However, in order to do so, retailers must have a deep understanding of every millennial to get a better insight into them as shoppers.

Millennials today give utmost importance to experience over a material item. They seek a destination that allows them to make an outing of an otherwise boring and mundane task.  For instance, instead of going to a typical grocery store, they want a place that can not only provide fresh produce but also trials of different types of salsa or cheese. Wandering the aisles with a snack or a beverage in hand not only increases the time spent in the store but encourages them to add a few extra items in the shopping cart. So retailers must make an effort to transform their stores into the experience.

Personalization is key

Compared to the previous generations, millennial shoppers are far more comfortable sharing their data in order to receive personalized content that would be relevant to their individual needs. This makes it easier for retailers to tailor make product offers and run promotions increasing the likelihood of them making a purchase.
Furthermore, the retailer can also leverage omnichannel marketing to promote ads on social media to redirect the shoppers onto their platforms. 

Curated product offerings 

Retailers must also create curated product offerings that resonate with the needs of the millennial shoppers. Digitally-active millennials communicate, shop and do their tasks online, which creates a volume of valuable data that can be used by the retailers. This becomes increasingly important for brick-and-mortar retailers that compete with e-commerce giants such as Amazon who have endless online 'aisles' for users to shop right from their own homes.
These brick-and-mortar retailers need to leverage the data available and optimize their product offerings to boost store traffic and sales. 

Pricing the right way matters

While making a purchase, price is a key factor, but it is different from that of the previous generations. For example, Millennials are ready to splurge for luxury items such as organic fruits or vegetables or anti-aging creams but maintain a strict budget for other necessities like toothpaste or toothbrushes. If a retailer can leverage this information and price their products accordingly, the possibility of them purchasing products increase.
The best way for retailers to determine the pricing process includes analyzing which products Millennial shoppers are most likely to spend on heavily and which ones that they would not. Using past purchasing trends, retailers can collect the data needed to create a profitable pricing strategy.


Millennials have surpassed the previous generations with the most disposable income. Retailers need to focus on the three most important aspects - their product offerings, pricing and personalization based on a data-driven approach to create a Millennial-centric shopping experience. This would further help them to increase sales as well as loyal, avid shoppers.

Related e-commerce articles:

Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping
Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping With consumers changing how they purchase and engage with a brand, retailers have leveraged[...]
Importance of AI in customer loyalty
The expectations of consumers today from their favourite brands has increased ten-fold, and with big companies such as Amazon providing[...]
What is GS1 Verified? – Everything you need to know
​Live from the GS1 Connect 2019 EventWith the GS1 Connect 2019 event happening this week in Denver, Colorado, we think[...]
DataPorts and Why they Matter
​Retailers today struggle with managing all of the product content necessary to publish and maintain their online product catalog. Assembling[...]
3 ways Grocery retailers can survive in the age of Amazon
3 ways retailers can survive in the age of AmazonRetail giants like Amazon’s ability to effectively address the ever-changing customer[...]
The Impact of AI on Grocery Retail
The Impact of AI on Grocery RetailIn today’s age, grocery retailers no longer have to make guesses about what customers[...]
two people shaking hands across a table with laptop and papers

How is AI shaping the future of B2B E-commerce?

How is AI shaping the future of B2B E-commerce?

Most people have experienced AI in one form or another via interactions with websites such as Amazon or Netflix with their personalized recommendations or with AI assistants like Alexa, Siri, or Google Home. This trend of using AI and machine learning is no longer limited only to B2C. The growing popularity of AI is influencing B2B buyer expectations and B2B companies are increasingly leveraging AI and machine learning to improve search, personalization, reordering, and ultimately streamline business processes.

The application of AI and machine learning needs to be refined and fine-tuned as the process followed by B2B companies is completely different than the B2C company processes.

How can AI change the following aspects of B2B ecommerce?

Product search

person searching for products online

AI is enabling the next generation set of search tools. Buyers no longer need to depend on catalogs to search for products. Using image recognition, a mobile app can enable buyers to search for an app using a picture captured by their smartphone. The app can deliver relevant results based on the image along with the buyer's purchase history.

Another method used by buyers include voice - and find it convenient to send voice prompts to Siri, Google Home or Alexa as search queries. Combining traditional text-based search and text-to-speech along with image recognition allows the buyer to search according to his/her individual preference.

Chatbots are greatly improving interactions with buyers through conversations that mimic real-life dialogues exchanged by people in real-life.

Crafting recommendations

As B2B buyers, the expectation is fast and relevant search results. Leveraging AI, businesses can anticipate buyer needs by analyzing their past purchases to predict what they may need next. This process further enables automated marketing campaigns which, makes reordering easier.

It can also be leveraged to recommend complementary products or services. For instance, if a buyer has previously purchased a set of cutlery, the recommendation engine would show a variety of cutlery organizers that would complement the set. AI can also personalize and optimize promotions and sales offers based on comparing purchase history of clients with business-wide patterns.

This provides an enhanced experience for the buyer, which helps build brand loyalty.

person holding a tablet with data stats

Real-time data collection

Procuring usable information from the data generated by an e-commerce business can be an extremely difficult task. With AI, extracting relevant and usable information becomes easy, which further enables the business to identify new patterns of buyer behavior to improve product offers, and speed up decision-making.
Administrative processes such as stock control can also be optimized with automated tracking and reordering, saving valuable time for businesses.

Though B2B e-commerce trends differ from B2C, B2B businesses expect the same user-friendly online buying experience that they get from consumer websites. With more companies adopting AI-based applications into their business models, it becomes imperative for B2B businesses to evolve with the changing technology trends. This further helps them to get an edge over their competitors and stay ahead.

Related e-commerce articles:

Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping
Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping With consumers changing how they purchase and engage with a brand, retailers have leveraged[...]
Importance of AI in customer loyalty
The expectations of consumers today from their favourite brands has increased ten-fold, and with big companies such as Amazon providing[...]
What is GS1 Verified? – Everything you need to know
​Live from the GS1 Connect 2019 EventWith the GS1 Connect 2019 event happening this week in Denver, Colorado, we think[...]
DataPorts and Why they Matter
​Retailers today struggle with managing all of the product content necessary to publish and maintain their online product catalog. Assembling[...]
3 ways Grocery retailers can survive in the age of Amazon
3 ways retailers can survive in the age of AmazonRetail giants like Amazon’s ability to effectively address the ever-changing customer[...]
The Impact of AI on Grocery Retail
The Impact of AI on Grocery RetailIn today’s age, grocery retailers no longer have to make guesses about what customers[...]
person using tablet

Tackling DNVBs for emerging brands and legacy retailers

Tackling DNVBs for emerging brands and legacy retailers

The recent years have seen the emergence of DNVBs or micro-brands; brands that focus on providing a niche product for a niche customer, which is changing the consumer brand landscape completely. These direct-to-consumer micro-brands or DNVBs, also known as v-commerce brands, are spearheading new approaches to retail. These brands have a distinct business model; combining the growth of an e-commerce company with the profit margins of a brand.

These brands control the entire experience - from sourcing and manufacturing to delivering product experiences online (website or social media platforms), thus enabling them to iterate product design and demand and connect with their customers in an authentic manner via micro-targeting.

So what can emerging brands and legacy retailers learn from the DNVBs that are disrupting and taking over the e-commerce environment?

Adopt a data-driven model

Standardized messaging is a big no for DNVB customers. High performing DNVBs invest heavily in collecting and measuring data to improve their communication with their customers. They leverage first, second and third party demographic, behavioral and psychographic to design bespoke digital advertising. This further enables them to understand the messaging that would resonate with the different segments in their target demographic.

Every touch point with a customer is devised to convince and convert. Legacy retailers and emerging brands must leverage data to intersect their demographic and strategically target potential customers.

Design strong product experiences

DNVBs offer customers a buying experience which is as memorable as the product. DNVBs create product experiences that are visual, descriptive and transparent (the product is represented in an image enabling the customer to visualize the product as part of their daily life). Furthermore, they also leverage UGC content and customer reviews to further represent the product ensuring that the customer is well briefed about the product before making a purchase. Emerging brands and legacy retailers must further focus on creating strong product experiences to drive revenue.

For example: For a home decor brand, besides how the product looks like, it is important for the brand to provide details about the materials used,  sourcing of the materials as well as the durability of the product. The product page must mention all these details along with the size, height, frame of the product. Pages that include lookbooks or UGC content further helps the customer to make a better choice.

Build tech with a human touch

DNVBs collect data on every transaction and interaction with customers and leverage this information to better understand their customers and how they behave online. The goal is driven to be relevant, highly personalized, efficient and convenient for the customers.

Traditional or emerging brands, while interacting with their customers, must ensure that their message is personalized. For ex: If the customer in the past has purchased organic, whole wheat pasta, the messaging they could receive could include organic tomatoes or organic arrabbiata sauce they could use for their pasta.

Take the brand experience offline

Digitally native brands understand the importance of brick and mortar and do not restrict themselves to being digital-only. DNVBs often expand to shops through partnerships with third-party retailers, pop-up stores or by creating their own physical locations. Moreover, these locations are heavily marketed by influencers, with strategic content as well as promotional offers. They ultimately expand from a digital-only space but without sacrificing their brand or customer experience.

Most e-commerce companies are heavily focused on distributing other brands' goods and competing with e-commerce giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba while DNVBs are paving the way for a new retail experience with technology, social sharing and being perceptive to the shifts in consumer buying behavior.


Consumers are increasingly demanding informative and convenient product experiences across every sales channel and with more DNVBs coming into the market, expanding their presence beyond digital channels to brick and mortar stores, it is imperative for traditional brands to take inspiration from the DNVBs and adapt their business models to the changing consumer trends. Brands that can not only meet these expectations but also deliver on it will be the most successful in the digital space.

Related e-commerce articles-

Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping
Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping With consumers changing how they purchase and engage with a brand, retailers have leveraged[...]
Importance of AI in customer loyalty
The expectations of consumers today from their favourite brands has increased ten-fold, and with big companies such as Amazon providing[...]
What is GS1 Verified? – Everything you need to know
​Live from the GS1 Connect 2019 EventWith the GS1 Connect 2019 event happening this week in Denver, Colorado, we think[...]
DataPorts and Why they Matter
​Retailers today struggle with managing all of the product content necessary to publish and maintain their online product catalog. Assembling[...]
3 ways Grocery retailers can survive in the age of Amazon
3 ways retailers can survive in the age of AmazonRetail giants like Amazon’s ability to effectively address the ever-changing customer[...]
The Impact of AI on Grocery Retail
The Impact of AI on Grocery RetailIn today’s age, grocery retailers no longer have to make guesses about what customers[...]
person doing online shopping via mobile for dnvbs

The Rise of Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs)

The Rise of Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs)


In the past, brands that dominated supply chains, dominated the markets share in their category. P&G, Unilever are brands who owned their categories for the past few decades. With the shift towards digital, there was a rise in direct-to-consumer brands called Digitally Native Vertical Brands or DNVBs.

What is DNVB? A brand that is digitally native, vertically integrated company that sells its own products and controls its own distribution via the web maintaining a strong focus on customer experience. While the DNVB starts online, it often uses a brick-and-mortar strategy. This term was made popular by Andy Dunn, founder of a famous online-first brand, Bonobos.

DNVBs have been shaping a new Retail landscape in the US, building competitive advantages and differentiators enabling them to not only compete with well-established brick-and-mortar businesses but also leading e-commerce businesses making a huge impact on what consumers expect from brands. Some of the DNVBs include Blue Apron Inc., Casper, Dollar Shave Club, and Home Chef.

Let’s take a deeper look into three growth strategies of these brands that proved successful:

Personalization in products 

The product offerings in DNVBs are truly unique to each buyer, and these brands take time to craft experiences based on the specific user taking into account their needs, preferences, and behavior.
For instance, Blue Apron takes into account the preferences of the customer and with this information, provides custom meal options that would suit that customer’s need and likes, giving the customer a personalized brand experience.

Customized products require a lot of information and attention to details which requires a different supply chain that big e-commerce companies like Amazon are yet to provide. This provides DNVBs an edge within a cut-throat, competitive ecosystem.

Vertical integration

A brand that sells directly to customers combines multiple benefits - lower cost of online sales, better control of the whole supply chain from manufacturing to distribution.

A great example of vertical integration is Everlane, a web-only clothing brand that compares its own pricing to that of traditional retailers and is able to share with its customers its cost break down as they know their supply chain.

Tech roots

DNVBs are more like tech companies rather than retailers as they build their own retail technology to sell better. It further enables them to track customer interactions, manage inventory, offer store credit, gather feedback to improve data curation, etc.

This user-centric and data-centric approach of DNVBs emphasizes all the steps of the user journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase experience. This helps meet customer experience and generate loyalty while still offering them a highly personalized experience depending on location, customer behavior, purchase history, etc.

Web-only brands have often become frequent acquisition targets, not only because of the products they sell, but also because of the talent and technology they bring to the traditional retail structures leading to  deals like Unilever’s one-billion-dollar for Dollar Shave Club. Another strategy that retail applies in order to avoid the downsides of an acquisition is to take part in the funding of startups of web-only brands such as Target and $170 million dollar series C led by Casper.

While all the retail companies are leaning towards technology to find new ways to innovate and change the customer experience, a factor that web-only brands or DNVBs heavily rely upon is to scale as well as the ability to attract and retain talents. This is something that traditional retail organizations are yet to tap into completely. 

The retail industry has never been as competitive as today, with three e-commerce giants Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba taking the large chunk of the e-commerce revenue as well as the technological acceleration being this quick. Among all the retail players, a new category of business is on the rise, disrupting the industry.

Stay tuned to see what must traditional brands do, to keep pace and compete with DNVBs.

Related e-commerce articles:

Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping
Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping With consumers changing how they purchase and engage with a brand, retailers have leveraged[...]
Importance of AI in customer loyalty
The expectations of consumers today from their favourite brands has increased ten-fold, and with big companies such as Amazon providing[...]
What is GS1 Verified? – Everything you need to know
​Live from the GS1 Connect 2019 EventWith the GS1 Connect 2019 event happening this week in Denver, Colorado, we think[...]
DataPorts and Why they Matter
​Retailers today struggle with managing all of the product content necessary to publish and maintain their online product catalog. Assembling[...]
3 ways Grocery retailers can survive in the age of Amazon
3 ways retailers can survive in the age of AmazonRetail giants like Amazon’s ability to effectively address the ever-changing customer[...]
The Impact of AI on Grocery Retail
The Impact of AI on Grocery RetailIn today’s age, grocery retailers no longer have to make guesses about what customers[...]

Icecream Labs is going to GroceryShop 2018!

Icecream Labs is going to GroceryShop 2018!


IceCream Labs is going to be a part of GroceryShop 2018 which will be held on October 28-31, 2018 at the Aria, Las Vegas.

Founded by the world’s largest retail conference, ShopTalk, GroceryShop is a one of a kind, three-day innovation event bringing together established and startup CPG brands, supermarkets, convenience stores, drugstores, discount stores, e-grocers, warehouse clubs grocerants and non-traditional grocery retailers. They will be joined by tech companies, real estate operators, investors, and analysts to understand the disruptive new trends, and technologies that are changing the retail industry.

Groceryshop aims to build a new community of leaders of today and emerging leaders of tomorrow in the space of digital, e-commerce, marketing, technology, merchandising, supply chain and store operations. This event will address the shared challenges and opportunities in the evolution of how consumers shop for food, beverages, health, beauty, personal care, household, and pet products through Techtalk sessions and keynote speeches. The hosted program meetings, Peer Dinners, and roundtables will give the attendees an opportunity to network with one another.

The qualifying individuals from retailers and brands will get free tickets and a $750 travel reimbursement by joining GroceryShop’s Hosted Retailers & Brands Program, facilitating eight mutually selected 15-minute meetings.

Swing by our booth at the startup row Space# S16 to see some exciting AI-based solutions that IceCream Labs can provide for grocery retailers.

supermarket with fresh produce

AI and Automation are transforming the E-Grocery experience

AI and Automation are transforming the E-Grocery experience

The concept of e-grocery is not new, with existing e-commerce businesses like Walmart To Go, Amazon Fresh and Instacart, but with Amazon acquiring Whole Foods, all the players in the grocery retail industry have realized that grocery shopping is at the brink of transformation and are changing their strategies to accommodate and incorporate online shopping into their business goals. 

The focus is on providing solutions to enhance customer engagement, optimize inventory management and upgrade logistics for accurate and speedy delivery. To address these concerns, businesses are investing in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data, internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, autonomous robots, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).

Challenges of e-grocery inventory management

The success of an e-grocery business essentially depends on inventory management. The fundamental problem that needs to be addressed is stocking: with grocers finding the right balance between understocking and overstocking. 

Overstocking uses up costly warehouse space and locks up capital which could be otherwise made available for resources. Products decay over time and with perishables, the decay is often quicker, in some cases, by the end of the day. Every wastage affects the business, increasing the costs and making it unproductive.

While on the other hand, understocking hinders the growth of the business. No grocer wants customers abandoning their shopping carts because of the inability to supply an item. While there are options to pre-order products that are not in stock, groceries are fast moving products that customers need on a regular basis. Grocers cannot list fruits, vegetables, cereals, soaps, detergents, and personal care items as out of stock. The demand for them is instant.

Optimizing inventory is crucial for the survival of the grocery industry. It’s no surprise that e-grocers are leaning towards innovative technologies to enhance and optimize their inventory management processes.

aisle with fresh fruits

Emerging trends in e-grocery

Big Data, AI and Machine Learning

E-grocery businesses generate a significant amount of data about purchasing patterns which can be useful to predict future trends. However, this data needs to be examined and categorized to make it efficient and useful. Here’s where data analytics and machine learning come in to help grocers extract relevant insights which help them make strategic business decisions.

Businesses are leveraging AI to predict operational failures and improve warehouse management. As machine learning models get smarter, the systems get more efficient over time.

Automation and use of robots

Besides inventory maintenance, the physical movement of the inventory is another challenge for the grocers as it requires a considerable amount of human labor. Technologies like automation and robotic systems are helping businesses by taking over these manual tasks.

The robotic systems are automating operations for customer orders and are also helping businesses to build space-saving warehouses and utilize the complete area efficiently without wastage. There are rails between aisles for robots to move around, stock and fetch products. Robotics and automation go hand in hand towards reducing the size of real estate investments.

Self-Drive logistics

Another challenge that e-grocers face is delivery of the products to the customers.

Groceries differ from regular e-commerce products such as shoes, or furniture items in two ways: the quick turn around time expected by the customer and the perishable nature of grocery items. As the order volume of the e-grocery business grows, the logistics system needs to scale along with it. This, in turn, increases the delivery cost that further affects the business.

Businesses are turning towards self-drive vehicles to deliver groceries to customers and with startups like AutoX with self-drive car deliveries and Marble with a sidewalk delivery robot coming in the market. As transport technology advances, self-driving automatons can become the next big thing to look out for.

The future of e-grocery

As online grocery businesses are adopting the latest technology to solve the supply chain, inventory management, and logistics problems, even small grocers are able to leverage these technologies to scale their businesses through automation and predictive analytics.

Moving grocery online has been a major problem with the high demand for operational excellence and the low margin of the products. This is a hard sell for many businesses, but with the advancements in AI, Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics, this is changing. This can be seen from the growth of e-grocery ventures that are emerging around the world.

Other e-commerce articles:

Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping
Enhancing the customer experience beyond shopping With consumers changing how they purchase and engage with a brand, retailers have leveraged[...]
Importance of AI in customer loyalty
The expectations of consumers today from their favourite brands has increased ten-fold, and with big companies such as Amazon providing[...]
What is GS1 Verified? – Everything you need to know
​Live from the GS1 Connect 2019 EventWith the GS1 Connect 2019 event happening this week in Denver, Colorado, we think[...]
DataPorts and Why they Matter
​Retailers today struggle with managing all of the product content necessary to publish and maintain their online product catalog. Assembling[...]
3 ways Grocery retailers can survive in the age of Amazon
3 ways retailers can survive in the age of AmazonRetail giants like Amazon’s ability to effectively address the ever-changing customer[...]
The Impact of AI on Grocery Retail
The Impact of AI on Grocery RetailIn today’s age, grocery retailers no longer have to make guesses about what customers[...]