Written by: Gary Hawkins, founder, and CEO of the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

We regularly hear about the exponential growth of technology-fueled innovation, but don’t stop to really consider the implications. And yet, a recent flurry of stories drives home that the industry is indeed at a tipping point, that change and disruption are accelerating… fast.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon is on the move. Recent stories report the company is signing dozens of store leases in different markets as it opens up its new grocery chain. Amazon is bringing it’s Go technology to hundreds of other locations as it partners with movie theaters, sports venues, and other retail stores. Alexa’s footprint is growing fast as Amazon releases new devices and enters into deals with auto manufacturers and others.

And in a recent Forbes article, retail executives confidentially share that “consumer adoption of online grocery shopping, currently somewhere between 3% and 4%, will explode by seven times or more, to over 20%, and many said much higher. The same people also said that the grocery retailers currently at the top of the industry now will not be the leaders in the online grocery business in five to ten years.

Retail competition has shifted from mass promotion to a guerrilla battle being waged over share-of-wallet and lifetime value at the individual shopper level. Birdzi, the supermarket industry’s only comprehensive customer engagement platform, is uniquely positioned to help regional retailers join the battle.

Digital customer engagement is far more than just online shopping.

Online shopping today is a small part of the retailer’s total sales, and even as it grows to 20% or more of sales, shoppers coming into the store will continue to generate the majority of sales and profits. Numerous studies show that a majority of grocery sales are influenced by digital somewhere along the path to purchase. Birdzi has found that digitally engaged shoppers across its platform are better retained over time, spend more per trip, and shop more frequently.

To generate results, personalization must be strategic.

Filtering your existing weekly ad to communicate a subset of offers to a customer based on past purchases is becoming routine. It provides no added value to the shopper beyond helping guide them to a relevant mass promotion. Given that retail competition is now being waged at the individual customer level, retailers must think and act strategically, understanding what promotions and discounts are required to grow share-of-wallet and lifetime value for each customer individually.

Retail success: Fueled by data.

Contextual relevancy is driven by vast customer and product data attribution. Birdzi’s platform has been architected to automatically calculate and maintain several hundred attributes on each individual customer, updated with each purchase, which is then used to drive machine learning algorithms and AI models that predict behavior and customer lifetime value. What’s more, the platform is built to ingest hundreds and even thousands of attributes across customers and products to drive industry-leading customer engagement.

Retailers are not moving quickly enough.

Nearly half of the top 50 supermarket retailers in the U.S. lack comprehensive customer identified transaction data, and almost all retailers lack sufficient data attribution at the customer and product level to effectively compete at the individual customer level. Birdzi provides the next-generation platform purpose-built for the next-generation of retail competition

For more information, email us at info@birdzi.com.