Viewpoints

And the Award for Digital Goes to … No One

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For years the industry has looked to Kantar Retail to help define which retailers and suppliers are performing best in a wide variety of attributes, from company strategies to shopper insights. This consultancy’s annual PoweRanking report has been widely followed.

So it’s not surprising that Kantar drew attention recently when it decided to launch a first-time Digital Power Study, which aimed to rank digital prowess across trading partners.

Those reading the results, however, may have been surprised to find the situation is far from black-and-white.

“What may be disappointing to some is that because digital and multi-channel thinking and practice is still a work in progress, there is no best in class per se,” the report said.

So while Kantar didn’t identify best in class players, it did separate companies into different classes, including those that are participating, progressing and performing, as SN recently reported.

The problem is that retailers and suppliers are largely still playing catch-up. “The shopper has gone digital, and the industry must follow,” according to the study.


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Amazingly, one of the biggest challenges is how to define digital in the first place. What are the most important factors, from marketing to online sales? Kantar addresses this particularly well, pointing out that while e-commerce sales percentage represents only single digits currently, it’s growing quickly.

Moreover, the big impact of online interactions and the surge in consumer adoption rates of digital devices has more widely impacted sales.

This topic was further spotlighted in a new study from Brick Meets Click, which found that a shopper’s satisfaction with a retailer’s store more than triples as the number of digital connections between store and shopper increases from one to six.

Read more: Digital Strategies Are Work in Progress: Kantar

The six connections studied were email, websites, social networks, texting, mobile and online shopping.

Younger consumers are a prime audience for all this. Wakefern Food Corp. recently said shoppers under 45 are especially likely to provide emails and use its home-shopping service and mobile app. The ShopRite operator has accelerated digital efforts to connect with these shoppers.

Individual company commitments like this will be key. Then, maybe in the near future, we’ll be able to pinpoint which companies have moved to the head of the class, so consumers don’t feel the industry is flunking this important test.

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Julie Gallagher

Julie Gallagher’s delicious foray into coverage of the food industry was purely accidental. With a background in technology, she joined Supermarket News as associate editor of its Technology...

Mark Hamstra

Mark Hamstra is the editor of the Retail/Financial section of Supermarket News covering mergers and acquisitions, quarterly earnings reports, executive changes and other significant events and trends...
What's Viewpoints?

In their Viewpoints columns, SN editors give their perspectives on current industry issues.

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