Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 57

New Face of Retail

Going Out of Focus
The demand for easier access and engaging experiences blurs retail channels.

by Karlee Renkoski


People with poor vision wear glasses to see the definitive
lines of the objects in front of them. Just five years ago,
that clear and segmented picture might have been used
to describe the retail scene. Now, it would be more accurate to take those glasses off and stare into the fuzzy
landscape that's merging more and more each day.
"Retailers across the globe are rapidly adapting to the
fact that, from the consumer perspective, shopping is not
about bricks versus clicks or one channel versus another.
Instead, consumers are channel-agnostic," noted researchers in "Global Powers of Retailing 2018," a study by consulting firm Deloitte. "The shopping journey and pre-shopping
research is a fluid process with consumers bouncing between online and offline along the path to purchase."
The heart of this blurring retail environment is creating a seamless shopping experience. There aren't visible lines separating one channel from another. Instead,
supercenters are incorporating online features through
click and collect, department stores are adding on-the-go
food selections, online companies are buying brick-andmortars, and grocery stores are partnering with meal kit

companies - not to mention every crossover in between.
Within a 30-day period, 93% of consumers shopped
between two to 10 retail channels for groceries, and 65%
of consumers shopped anywhere from three to six retail channels for food and beverages, according to The
Hartman Group's "Food Shopping in America 2017" report. Shoppers visited an average of 4.4 channels.
"It's the merging of the transactional and experiential
aspects of retail," said Dave Donnan, senior partner of
consumer and retail practice, A.T. Kearney. "You cannot
be a pure play online food retailer, nor can you exclusively be a physical store."
As the grocery shopping view is smeared by channel
crossovers, retailers are discovering what omnichannel
means to them, and it's opening up a variety of opportunities for baking and snack companies.

An experiential
environment in retail
could mean a
knowledgeable staff
or product samples.
WavebreakmediaMicro -

Ramping up online presence
It's known as the "Amazon effect." The online business is making strides in omnichannel, and its actions
are affecting even the largest retail giants. As described / July 2018 Baking & Snack 57

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