It’s a bit ironic that next week’s Groceryshop is my first step back into the face-to-face trade show environment after nearly 18 months of virtual events. After all, there might not be an industry undergoing as much disruption as grocery due to the pandemic.
Signifyd’s Ecommerce Pulse Data shows that many retail segments faced explosive online growth as consumers shifted buying behaviors from in-store to online. But none saw a bigger incursion of new problems and opportunities than grocery — all due to heightened customer experience demands, including:
- an extremely urgent need to provide or scale delivery and pickup services (and the operational challenges related to that shift).
- a shift to buyers purchasing directly from CPG manufacturers (and the resulting need for CPG to go direct-to-consumer).
- the overnight need to develop seamless purchasing via smartphone apps.
All of this incredible disruption was exacerbated by the high volume of card-not-present transactions across grocery store digital buying platforms. If there were ever an environment ripe for fraudsters to take advantage of merchants, the minefield grocery merchants stepped through in 2020 was it.
- Grocery was arguably the retail vertical most disrupted by COVID-19. That presented plenty of challenges, but it also presents tremendous opportunities.
- While industry events like Groceryshop are incredibly valuable for learning about future-facing solutions and technology, this year it is especially important to look back to understand the full context of what’s changing.
- It is extremely refreshing to be able to meet face-to-face again. Use the time in Las Vegas to get together with peers and experts to share insights and seize the opportunity to learn.
And the thing about new buying behaviors is that they are tough to change. Our Pulse data show the new purchasing behaviors developed during the pandemic continue today — and continue to grow.
Groceryshop is a chance for reflection and seizing the future
Any time I decide to attend a tradeshow, my mentality is to seek out technologies of the future. My interest typically lies in how merchants are adapting and changing to make for more delightful, and profitable, consumer experiences.
And so, yes, I’ll be hunting for new, forward-looking solutions this year at Groceryshop. But I’ll also be looking for something more as I make my way to Las Vegas. I’m particularly interested in the conversations that are backward-looking — to better understand how folks managed their responses and what they developed as the struggles of 2020 came about. What went right and what went wrong? Because the pandemic months are very much a blur to me, and I suspect to others as well, I am seeking to understand hidden pressures not yet clearly documented that will have a material impact on where we go from here. “Black swan” events like this that cause such massive change are so rare that it’s important to capture the opportunity to learn from them.
With a firm handle on the broader context, I’ll quickly turn my attention to the technologies being tested and deployed now to understand the future of grocery. I will of course be focused on how Signifyd fits into the equation. Most importantly, I’ll focus on how our platform’s inherent underlayment of protection against fraud and abuse across multiple customer journey touchpoints provides grocers and CPG companies the protection they need to experiment, test, and deploy new experiences, while proactively changing the post-pandemic world as it develops.
Some of the best of Groceryshop
So, in light of this:
- I’ll start my journey with Chris Rupp from Albertsons, a new Signifyd client, on a panel of four discussing the exact transformation outlined in this blog post (Track 1, Sunday at 3:30 p.m.).
- And then continue with Andre Persaud of Rite Aid, a long-time Signifyd partner, who is a part of a panel reflecting on the scramble to react last year, and now examining new approaches in 2022 (Track 2, Monday at 9:00 a.m.).
- Later on Monday, the “Tactical Direct to Consumer Approaches” session caught my eye. Signifyd is seeing large disruption as manufacturers must compete with Amazon and other large-scale distributors without upsetting their wholesale channel. Going D-to-C also means developing a cart-activated digital experience, many times, for the first time for these brands (Track 2, Monday at 9:55 a.m.).
- And finally, I hope to learn a few things from “ Sorting Hype from Reality in Emerging Technology Vendor Pitches” hosted by Jason Goldberg and David Steck (Track 4, Tuesday at 4:55 PM).
I’m eager to revisit old friends and clients, as well as begin new conversations next week. (If you’re interested in setting aside a few minutes to talk, please schedule a time to talk below.) I guess in many ways it is a new beginning of sorts — for me personally, stepping away from Zoom calls and back into face-to-face meetings, as well as for the entire grocery and CPG segment — 2022 looks to bring exciting new opportunities! I’m eager to get at it.