Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageQ&A: Northgate Market improves digital grocery experience Special

By Tim Sandle     Aug 30, 2019 in Business
U.S. grocery chain Northgate Market, sensing the importance of needing to develop its online presence and digital strategy, has worked with open-source software platform Pimcore to improve the customer experience and protect ts brand reputation
By 2022 it is estimated that around 10 percent of all U.S. grocery sales are likely be made online. As consumers shift the ways they shop for their food, it’s crucial food retailers evolve with them and bring digital offerings up-to-speed for seamless online purchasing.
An example of a retailer reacting to this trend is with family-owned U.S. grocery chain, Northgate Market. Northgate struggled to update its digital offerings to meet customers and vendor demands for seamless ordering experiences. This was due to complex, legacy websites in place that offered limited capabilities, bringing new food items to market was often delayed, making it difficult to scale up into new markets.
To address this, Northgate worked with an open-source software platform called Pimcore in order to meet customers’ digital needs. Pimcore developed a complete end-to-end ordering system, giving customers and vendors the ability to order online, and providing a detailed track record of retail store stock and vendor-specific requirements.
To learn more about the process, Digital Journal spoke with Shashin Shah, co-CEO of Pimcore, looking at how legacy grocers can effectively evolve their digital offerings to meet customer demands for online experiences today.
Digital Journal: What do retailers need to do to meet digital challenges?
Shashin Shah: The biggest challenge retailers face is that they have no unified data strategy and no focus on turning data into insights. They don't value technology as an enabler, and different departments use their own solutions. To overcome these challenges, retailers need to have a solid enterprise-wide data management strategy. Enterprise applications should be integrated. Creating a consolidated environment for product information, digital assets, content management and customer data will help them to increase their operational efficiency and deliver streamlined, consistent interactions no matter the channel customers choose to engage with.
DJ: What are the problems facing those with legacy tech solutions?
Shah: Legacy technology solutions can impair retail organizations’ overall performance. Either they don’t have the flexibility or agility to quickly adapt to the ever-changing demands of today's consumers, or they don’t have the ability to interact with other systems and applications. In addition, there are huge costs involved in maintaining proprietary technology solutions (i.e., SAP and Informatica) which ultimately impacts retail enterprises’ bottom lines. I have seen retailers facing major pain points due to legacy technology, such as scattered customer data, product content and inventory. In order to meet customer demands and provide them with personalized experiences, retailers must have a unified data management strategy.
DJ: What solutions did Pimcore offer Northgate Market?
Shah:At a high-level, we created a foundation for Northgate Market to build upon digital experiences over time by implementing a master data management solution that organized data and product content on the back-end. By establishing this base, we developed a complete end-to-end ordering system for customers and vendors, which provides a detailed track record of each retail store stock and meets vendor specific requirements, as well as enables customers to order digitally. We also digitized processes that were once paper-based, including Northgate’s scholarship portal and the management of employee discounts.
DJ: How did the transition process work?
Shah:Most recently, we helped lead Northgate’s largest migration ever of 500 development and production servers to Google Cloud Platform. We worked with Northgate throughout the entire implementation and execution process to transition internal associates to the cloud environment, and quickly migrate Northgate’s four AWS applications and two on-premise data hubs to GCP. This migration gives Northgate a standardized data infrastructure that allows for greater security and integrity, and the larger initiative enables Northgate to future-proof its IT department and provide the digitally-mature experiences customers and vendors demand. We’re excited to continue our digital transformation efforts with the Northgate team and see how this migration plays out.
DJ: How fast is the grocery business heading, in terms of online sales?
Shah:The online grocery market is growing incredibly fast. In fact, by 2022, nearly 10% of all U.S. grocery sales are likely be made online. As bigger players like Amazon and Walmart expand their digital grocery footprint, consumers are expecting all the grocers they shop with (regardless of size) to offer the same capabilities, While not every chain can compete at the level of Amazon or Walmart per se, it’s imperative they get their online offerings up to speed in order to retain loyal customers and scale up into new markets.
More about Grocery, Ecommerce, online ordering, digital sales
 
Latest News
Top News