Bringoz Industry Weekly 10/29A
mazon is opening tow Whole Foods stores with no cashiers next year. The truck driver shortage has hit an all-time high. Google is trying to support retailers’ omnichannel strategies as the holiday season approaches. Target has added new features to its same-day services. Read about these stories and more in our weekly industry news roundup.
Amazon Is Opening Two Whole Foods Stores With No Cashiers Next Year
Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago. Read more on Bloomberg.
Why Customer Feedback is Important for Retailers
Companies can collect customer feedback in a variety of ways. Sending a quick survey after the delivery is completed, whether via email, text message or chat, is a great way to get customer feedback instantly. This allows companies to gather accurate feedback in real time, as well as the opportunity to respond immediately to any customer who was unsatisfied with their delivery experience. However you choose to get customer feedback, make sure you use it wisely. If you aren’t meeting your customers’ needs, someone else will. Here’s a look at three ways customer feedback can help retailers increase customer satisfaction and provide superior delivery service. Read more in our blog here.
Truck Driver Shortage Hits All-Time High
The trucking industry is short 80,000 drivers, an all-time high for the industry, according to the American Trucking Associations. The shortage, which existed pre-pandemic but has grown worse since then, comes at a critical time in the retail supply chain cycle, with U.S. ports backlogged just before the start of the holiday shopping season. Truck drivers move 71% of the US economy’s goods. The outlook for the next few years doesn’t offer much hope. Based on driver demographic trends, including gender and age, as well as expected freight growth the shortage could surpass 160,000 in 2030. Read more on Chain Store Age.
Google Eyes 'Long-Term Opportunity' in Commerce
Google has made a concentrated push into commerce since the start of the pandemic, and Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said returning visitors to online stores were up fourfold in the first half of 2021 versus 2020. Now, the company is trying to support retailers’ omnichannel strategies as people begin to shop more in stores ahead of the key holiday season.”Brick and mortar [isn’t] dead. Instead, omnichannel is in full force,” Schindler said on Tuesday’s call. “As a result, we’ve seen more advertisers include in-store sales alongside eCommerce goals to drive omnichannel growth. Adoption has nearly doubled over the past year.” Schindler pointed to a “long-term opportunity” in commerce that spans search, YouTube and more experimental offerings like Google Lens, an image-recognition technology app. Read more on Retail Dive.
Target Adds New Features to Same-Day Services
Target has added new features to its same-day services (Order Pickup, Drive Up and Same-Day Delivery with Shipt) to make consumers’ shopping trips run smoother and faster this holiday. Shoppers can now add backup grocery items in case their first choice is out of stock and pick which Target location a Shipt Shopper should shop at, according to a Tuesday press release. Consumers can also use the new Shopping Partner tool so that a friend or family member can pick up orders for them. In case consumers want to add an item after they placed their orders, Target has introduced a “Forgot something?” button in its app. Consumers can shop for the missing product and it will be added alongside their original order. Read more on Retail Dive.
Independent Grocers Attain Record Sales
According to the 2021 Independent Grocers Financial Survey, retailers reached record financial and operational performance benchmarks in an unprecedented year for the $253 billion independent supermarket industry. For fiscal year 2020, which ended March 31, sales for many retailers rose by an average of 17%, lifted by growth in transaction size to an average of $31 and a large uptick in online orders. Independents used these pandemic sales gains to reinvest in businesses. As a result, both store remodeling and new store openings hit their highest levels in many years. Read more on Progressive Grocer.
UPS Doubling Down on SMBs and eCommerce
UPS is focused on expanding its small and medium-sized businesses’ eCommerce package volume in response to changing consumer demand and commercial realities, CEO Carol Tomé said Tuesday (Oct. 26). Noting a decline in its last-mile UPS SurePost business of 2.7% in the quarter, CFO Brian Newman said “higher yielding SMB average daily volume, including platforms, was up 10.9% and third quarter SMBs made up 27.4% of US domestic volume compared to 23.6% last year.” Tomé told analysts that “SMBs value the new capabilities we are providing” with international SMB average daily volume up nearly 4% as well. In spite of well-known supply chain challenges, the largest parcel delivery company is having a solid year thanks to consumers’ undiminished desire to have goods arrive at their doors. Read more on Pymnts.