5 Ways to Transform Grocery Retail with an AI-Driven Data Strategy

Written by

Lia Parisyan-Schmidt

Published on

May 11, 2023

Reading time

7 min read

  • Business Strategy
  • ML & AI
  • Modernize
  • Scale
  • Retail

Explore 5 AI-driven data strategies for grocery retail. Learn how to solve challenges like workforce management, pricing, and disconnected CX.

In the grocery retail universe, there’s an inescapable truth:

a modern, tailored customer experience is no longer a nice to have—
...it's the baseline for earning higher profits and winning customer love.

Yet, without a clear digital roadmap,
or a way to measure your progress,
providing tailored experiences,

is as elusive as a needle in a haystack.

So, how do you capture customers’ hearts?

Become their favorite brand?

And create a space where your team can deliver top-notch service and grow?

Lessons from the Titans

Our journey with trailblazing retail brands such as Peapod, Sifter, Fanfood, and Bentobox has revealed that an appetite for adopting ground-breaking technologies —like Generative AI, cloud-based analytics, and real-time BI—isn’t enough.

To truly ascend, brands must cultivate a mindset of transformation.

And find an ally capable of guiding them through these transitions—this doesn’t mean mammoth overhauls that span years or yield lackluster results.

Elegant Yet Impactful Steps to Ignite Your Digital Transformation

Below, you’ll discover ideas to ignite your digital transformation and enrich your customer experience.

These nuggets of wisdom will guide you to speed up your desired business outcomes without getting trapped in infinite project cycles or requiring an army of resources.

Deciphering Modern Customer Motivations

Keep reading to dive deeper into the psyche of today’s customers. Then, uncover how to convince and convert increasingly omnichannel shoppers into doing business with you.

Because, with the right cloud and data infrastructure and digital strategy—your brand can become a staple of their lives.

The Modern Customer Odyssey

While grocery retailers have made leaps and bounds in offering online and in-store experiences— most customer journeys still feel like a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces.

Harmonious interactions across all channels are the holy grail retailers aspire to, but isolated technologies, data, and employee activities result in frustrated customers and stunted growth.

Today’s shoppers have no shortage of choices.

With the surge of social media, retail customers wield a mighty platform for:

➡️Researching brands,
➡️comparing prices,
➡️and sharing their experiences (good or bad)
with people everywhere.

And thanks to online shopping, brand hopping is as easy as a few clicks, swipes, and taps.

There’s no denying—the dawn of digital transactions and retail transformation means the old rules no longer apply.

To meet customer expectations, grocery retailers need to cater to demands for lightning-fast, personalized experiences, and tailored products and services.

In this guide, we’ve set out to suggest strategies to help you triumph at each of these decision phases. And conquer some of the most formidable challenges in the retail grocery sphere:

  • 87% of shoppers surveyed confess that knowing they’ve bagged a bargain is crucial when deciding which brand or retailer to patronize.
  • 53% of shoppers surveyed believe their shopping experience would be enhanced if a retailer’s loyalty or rewards program kicked in automatically at checkout.
  • 59% of shoppers surveyed confess that being able to shop on mobile is crucial when deciding which brand or retailer to patronize.

Source: Think With Google

The Data Jobs To Be Done Framework (DJTBD)

A New Data Blueprint - A Data Jobs To Be Done Approach to Digital Transformation
A New Data Blueprint - A Data Jobs To Be Done Approach to Digital Transformation

Meet DJTBD, the Swiss Army knife of digital transformation, with modular, practitioner-led tools that zero in on data-optimized results.

Imagine DJTBD as your expert building crew, using state-of-the-art blueprints like data meshes, event-driven architecture, and microservices to construct custom, modular solutions, tackling one goal at a time.

DJTBD is redefining how businesses power up for purpose and profit—like trading an old, sluggish car for a sleek, new model—the journey is simply smoother, faster, and more gratifying.

Small Steps, Giant Leaps

Embracing the Data Jobs To Be Done Framework isn’t merely a leap into the digital universe; it’s an expedition of transformation.

Picture this as shedding an old skin, casting aside the limitations of your traditional operations to emerge into the limitless possibilities of the cloud.

You’ll not only reimagine your work processes, but adapt your thought patterns and decision-making approaches.

Breathe New Life into Your Retail Business

Think of our framework as the elixir of youth for your business.

Breathing new life into your aging legacy systems—transforming them into a dynamic data platform that stands firm and resilient.

By integrating advanced analytics and machine learning, you can automate strategic decisions, enhance customer experiences, and steer a winning streak in profitability.

Uplift Your Customer Experience (CX)

In the realm of retail, customer experience is king.

Our Data Jobs To Be Done Framework equips you to wield customer data to craft experiences that evoke joy and loyalty.

Using AI and ML technologies is like peering into a crystal ball, aiding you in anticipating customer needs—and not just meeting—but surpassing their expectations.

Amplify Your Profits and Scale

Picture a well-implemented data strategy as fertile soil nurturing operational efficiency and sprouting profitability.

With the treasure trove of insights harvested, you can make data-driven decisions that optimize product availability, streamline inventory management, and shape effective pricing strategies.

Moreover, our architectures are designed to adapt to you and endure increased demand as your business changes and grows.

Use Case 1: Tailored Shopping Experience

Picture your favorite restaurant where the waiter remembers your dish of choice and serves your favorite beverage without you having to ask.

That’s the type of personalized shopping experience today’s customers crave.


Every customer is unique—with diverse tastes, preferences, and shopping habits. The cookie-cutter approach simply doesn’t cut it anymore.

Instead, the challenge is to curate a shopping experience that feels tailor-made for each customer—just like a bespoke suit.


Make each customer feel like royalty using AI-powered product recommendations and personalized deals.

It’s like having your own personal shopper who knows your preferences and scouts the best products and deals for you.

So, loyal patrons at your stores can receive suggestions and discounts on their favorite items, making shopping a more delightful and efficient experience.

We brought a sophisticated level of personalization to Sifter, a company founded by Thomas and Andrew Parkinson of Peapod.

The solution we constructed with BigQuery, Looker, and other technologies enables customers to shop seamlessly by popular diets like Keto, Vegan, and Paleo or their religious observations or allergies they’d like to avoid.

Discover how we slashed Sifter’s infrastructure costs by 30%>

Dive Deeper: How to Use Elasticsearch to Create an Exceptional User Experience in Retail

Use Case 1:  Efficient Inventory Management

Managing inventory is a lot like juggling—
The more balls, the trickier it gets.


Keeping just the right amount of each product in stock to meet customer demand without overstocking and causing waste.


We can optimize stock levels using AI and machine learning for demand forecasting and real-time inventory tracking.

So you can predict precisely how much of anything you’ll need for the next week (or month or longer) based on real-time shopping data and historical trends.

This helps you maintain optimal stock levels while reducing waste—good news for your wallet and green initiatives.

iRec: Serving Personalized Shopping Recommendations

iREC meticulously curates personalized promotions with predictive modeling.

It sifts through data, spots trends, and foretells the future—giving you a bird’s eye view of everything that’s happening (and could happen).

iREC uses behavioral analytics to help you understand customer actions and preferences, so you can tailor their experience as they switch between mobile, in-store, and social channels.

And when it comes to real-time interaction management, think of iREC as a 24/7 concierge service. It’s always there, ready to serve the right promotion to the right shopper at the right moment.

➡️Learn more>

Use Case 3: Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Imagine your shopping journey as a road trip.

You’d want it to be a smooth ride, whether you’re cruising on a highway, a country road, or a city street.


Creating consistent and united shopping experience across different channels, like online, mobile, and physical stores.


Reduce friction in the shopping journey. Build a unified e-commerce platform and managing orders across channels—so customers can effortlessly shop online and pick up their orders in-store.

➡️See how we modernized Peapod’s aging infrastructure and made same-day delivery a reality>

Use case 4: Optimized Workforce Management

Managing a workforce is like conducting an orchestra.

You need to ensure every musician knows their part and plays in harmony with others to create a symphony.


Effectively orchestrating multiple elements like staff scheduling, payroll processing, and task allocation isn't easy—especially if you're relying on manual processes.


By using AI-powered tools for staff scheduling, payroll processing, and task allocation, you can ensure each associate and store leader knows their part and the timing to perfection.

Leading retailers are already using AI to create optimal work schedules and allocate tasks efficiently, ensuring a smooth experience that delights both employees and customers.

➡️Want to learn more about our AI-driven workforce solutions? Click here.

Use Case 5: Dynamic Pricing Strategy

Pricing products can be as tricky as walking a tightrope.

Set it too high, and you might lose customers;
set it too low, and you might lose profit.


Finding the perfect balance, where the price is right for both customers and the business. It’s like discovering the sweet spot on the tightrope where you can walk safely without tipping over.


With AI-powered dynamic pricing, the system tweaks prices in real time, monitors competitors, and analyzes price elasticity.

Stores can utilize dynamic pricing to attract price-sensitive customers and boost sales without sacrificing profits.

GrocBOT: The App Revolutionizing Grocery Retail

Produce section in a grocery store

Struggling to strike a balance between an overabundance of inventory and customer demand?

GrocBOT leverages the power of dynamic inventory management and predictive analytics to enhance demand forecasting and reduce food wastage.

In addition, its intuitive chatbot interface bridges the gap between retailers and consumers, promoting efficient redistribution of excess stock through secondary marketplaces.

➡️Want to find out more? Click here.

We’re Here to Guide You

Let us help you craft a future-proof digital strategy and enhanced customer experience. So you can sidestep the pitfalls of big-bang transformations that glitter like gold but fail to deliver meaningful business results.

Ready to begin your journey? Contact us, and let’s start transforming your business together.

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