Published On Jun 26, 2024  
in  Grocery

In today's competitive retail landscape, shopping centers need strong anchor tenants to attract customers. Brick-and-mortar grocery stores, once considered potentially threatened by online giants, are wielding the power of omnichannel strategies to boost foot traffic throughout not only their own stores, but the entire center they anchor. Here's how:

Tech-Powered Transformation: Building a Symphony of Efficiency

The secret sauce behind the omnichannel revolution lies in the strategic application of three key technologies:

1. Smart Building Technology: Redefining the Physical Store

Modern shelves can act as silent salespeople. Equipped with weight sensors, they automatically detect low stock levels and trigger reordering processes, ensuring product availability and reducing the risk of out-of-stock.

These same shelves can double as
digital displays, showcasing targeted promotions based on real-time customer behavior. For example, as a customer lingers in the cereal aisle, the shelf might highlight their preferred brand or a special discount.

dynamic product information elevates the shopping experience and nudges customers towards informed purchases.

2. Data Analytics: From Gut Feeling to Informed Decisions

Gone are the days of relying solely on intuition. Today, grocery stores wield the power of sophisticated data analysis tools. By analyzing customer purchase history, demographics, and even in-store movement patterns, stores can gain a granular understanding of their customer base. This empowers them to:

  • Optimize product placement: Data can reveal which products are frequently bought together, allowing stores to strategically position them in close proximity, encouraging impulse purchases, and increasing basket sizes.
  • Tailor in-store promotions: Shoppers could walk into the store and see personalized recommendations displayed on digital signs or receive targeted coupons on their phones based on previous purchases. This level of granular personalization fosters customer loyalty and satisfaction.

3. Automation: Freeing Up Human Potential

Repetitive tasks like manual inventory checks and cashiering are being streamlined through automation. Smart shelves can constantly track stock levels, eliminating the need for manual checks.

self-checkout kiosks efficiently handle transactions, freeing up staff to focus on higher-value activities such as providing exceptional customer service, offering personalized product recommendations, or assisting with complex purchases.

strategic shift in workforce allocation allows stores to optimize labor costs while enhancing the overall customer experience.


The Omnichannel Advantage: A Symphony of Technologies

The true power of omnichannel marketing lies in seamlessly integrating the previously mentioned technologies (smart building tech, data analytics, and automation) to create a unified customer experience that transcends online and physical boundaries.

This harmonious blend offers significant advantages for both grocery stores and the centers they anchor:

For Customers:

  • Effortless Navigation: Imagine browsing the grocery store's online platform, creating a shopping list, and scheduling a convenient pick-up time. Upon arrival, smart shelves guide you to your pre-selected items, while automated kiosks handle the checkout process swiftly. This frictionless experience saves valuable time and enhances overall satisfaction.
  • Personalized Touches: Data analysis allows stores to tailor in-store promotions and product displays based on individual buying habits. Shoppers would walk into the store and see personalized recommendations on digital signage, further streamlining their shopping trip.
  • Choice and Flexibility: Customers empowered with omnichannel options can choose how they interact with the store. Whether it's browsing online, ordering for delivery, or picking up in-store, the experience remains consistent and convenient.

For Shopping Centers:

  • Traffic Magnets: Grocery stores become powerful drawcards, attracting customers with the promise of a seamless shopping experience. In-store pickup options create a built-in incentive for customers to visit the physical location, increasing foot traffic throughout the center.
  • Cross-Pollination Effect: The increased flow of customers through the grocery store presents a golden opportunity for other businesses within the center. The sight of bustling activity can entice customers to explore neighboring stores, potentially leading to impulse purchases and higher overall sales for the center.


The future of grocery shopping isn't just physical or digital; it's a powerful hybrid. By implementing omnichannel strategies and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, brick-and-mortar stores can continue to be a magnet for foot traffic and fuel the success of shopping centers where they are located.



Andrew Schrage
Andrew Schrage
Senior Director of Leasing