What’s in store for 2016? W. Capra’s “futurist”, Ed Collupy, provides some insights to CSP Magazine in their November 2015 issue.
What’s next for tech in 2016? Ed Collupy, executive consultant with W. Capra Consulting Group, Chicago, pinpoints three areas to watch.
Manage the workforce: “The concept of workforce management has grown beyond clocking in and out and labor scheduling, and getting to: What is the work I need people to do, and how do I make sure they do it, and it gets done in a timely way?”
Unify the loyalty offer: “Loyalty has to be integrated with mobile payments and the digital offers you are considering. … At the end of the day, how many apps will a consumer want on their phone? How do you keep driving them to your app, your brand? And if at that point, if you have people trying to do three different things to access your brand, it’s probably not the best customer experience, or one that people will latch onto.”
Taste the Internet of Things: “Foodservice is an area where technology will become more important. How do we use the systems to control waste, what are we selling, how does product A sell with product B? You will start seeing preparation equipment [and] consumer-facing equipment that will have a connection to the Internet and added data.”
What design elements will be tops in stores for 2016? Mike Lawshe of Paragon Solutions offers his take.
Play up texture: “It used to be people would go for cheap graphic solutions. It’s colorful, but not great. In retail, people are looking for ambience, experience, textures and lighting. In general retail, they will change lighting to make it brighter. In the seating area, they will soften it up with lighter textures.”
Spread out the layout: “We are looking more at 360 degrees. Before, you would have a single front door, so it made sense to put the checkout in one spot. We now have customers with two, four or more entrances, creating little pockets of parking that are meant for different customers. And if you have customers coming in from different entrances, you need to think, ‘Do we need multiple points of sale?’ ”
Evolve into retail: “As recently as fıve to 10 years ago, the layout was about concession and shelving. Pick a category and we’re rethinking the way it’s presented, the way we are ‘impulsing’ sales. … It’s no longer the traditional store that looks like it was designed by someone designing coolers. … It is a fun time in our industry if you … are ready to really blossom.”
Always on the beat to discover the latest flavor trends, Susan Viamari, editor of thought leadership for IRI, Chicago, shares the ingredients that are new and/or showing strong growth during the past year, according to the fırm’s Market Advantage New Product Launch study:
- Roulette (regular flavor with a spicy or sour surprise every bite or so!)
- Jalapeño pepper jack
- Flaming hot and cheezy mix
- Ginger wasabi
- Dill pickle
- Sea salt and vinegar
- Salsa verde
Donna Hood Crecca, senior director of Chicago-based Technomic Inc., breaks down some of the hottest foodservice trends for 2016:
Are you in or out?: “Consumer expectations are prompting convenience operators to raise the bar on foodservice. Today’s consumers expect freshness and quality on par with restaurants and are looking for made-to-order or build-your-own options at c-stores. In 2016, operators will have to decide whether they’re keeping up or committing to foodservice as a strategic priority. Look for cutting-edge convenience operators to incorporate next-level spice and heat, along with regional ethnic influences, into menus.”
Customization and craveability: “Differentiating condiments and toppings will ramp up customization, delivering the flavor ‘pop’ that makes beverages, food items and desserts craveable. Snacks gain greater prominence on menus, and c-store operators downsize favorites to capture more between-meal occasions.”
Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click, Barrington, Ill., thinks transaction data will help retailers better understand their customers in 2016.
“People are using transaction data to make significant changes and improve the way they are merchandising stores. For example, Ricker’s used transaction data to characterize the way different c-stores in the chain were shopped. They would have different shopping occasions interpreted by the mix of items and purchases. It pointed out situations where the store itself was improperly merchandised for that occasion. On the other hand, certain stores were high-performing in certain areas, and you could see where should be handled differently than average stores. Retailers like Kum & Go and RaceTrac are subscribing to this kind of data analysis. In 2016, it will make a very big difference.”