The year 2024 brings challenges of paradigm shifts in supermarket operations. Traditional models began to change in 2023, but the transformation will consolidate in this new cycle.
It is a cycle where efficiency is the key. All systems are being optimized, from distribution to technology at the time of purchase, with a multichannel scheme.
The most relevant points of this change are:
Pharmacies and supermarkets
Pharmacies are becoming full-fledged supermarkets but on a small scale with a convenience store model. We have seen this transition in the last few months, where one can walk into a CVS or Walgreens and find everything from cookies and condiments to ready-to-serve frozen meals, and spaces originally for health products are now smaller.
In these adaptations within these new model pharmacies, we find pet food and beauty products.
Supermarket operations are experiencing similar changes. Supermarkets expand space for health products as pharmacies transform into consumer products. The transformation in the traditional market is the other way around, with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines but with more options.
The sustainability of products has become vital in the purchasing decision. Consumers are increasingly becoming more conscious of what they consume and prefer to buy products that help the environment and the community or that they understand to reduce the waste that pollutes.
This includes the new option of using biodegradable bags, using your bags, and having more ecological or simple packaging.
Healthy foods and specific diets are the new trend. Consumers are looking for products in particular niches, such as for use in keto diets, vegetarian lifestyles, products without salt or additives, etc.
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They have advanced loyalty programs, which use technology to make it much easier to accumulate points, rewards, or credit, similar to airline miles.
Shopping experiences will be the key to increasing traffic from traditional consumers.
These experiences are based on better tasting areas, offering innovative services such as being able to cook the products you are buying or making areas to entertain children while parents shop.
Product traceability is the new key to growth. Consumers want to know in detail where their products come from and what processes they have undergone.
Technology is vital to the trends. We will now see faster processes in inventory management and order fulfillment processes with distributors, and we will see semi-automatic identification of product shortages without needing a salesperson. It will be based on empty spaces and the spaces chosen in the store planogram.
The last change point in supermarket operations is eliminating non-essential products from the sales shelves. They seek to have products with high rotation products and give short time slots to new products.