29 December, 2022

Layered, plug and play tech solutions point the way forward for the grocery retail sector

Louise Taylor

There was a time, very recently, when grocery retailers looking to expand their digital offering would turn to a single technology or platform. How quickly things have changed.

Welcome to plug and play

“There are still companies buying all-in-one digital solutions,” explains Erik Wallin, Co-founder and CEO of Northfork. “For some retailers, that makes sense. However, businesses are increasingly looking to mix and match their technology. They want off-the-shelf solutions, with different tech providers meeting different needs. It’s all about layering.”

Northfork’s widgets are an example of how food tech companies are meeting this demand for plug-and-play services. The widgets are quick and easy to implement, providing retailers with easy menu planning and recipe shopping functionality.

Layered technology

This layering of different technologies is something that is echoed in the retail media space. The latest Merkle Retail Media Research Report 2022 flags it up, stating that, “Greater needs from retail media networks require a layered approach to technology partners and platforms.”

The report highlights the trend of retailers seeking multiple partners to help them achieve their goals.

Speed and complexity

One reason for this is the increasingly complex digital offering that retailers are providing. As they race to increase their market share, retailers continue to innovate. The maturation of digital and omnichannel shopping experiences is providing plenty of opportunities. Retailers who can get to market first with new ideas have a distinct advantage.

“This is where layering technologies comes into its own,” comments Northfork’s Erik Wallin. “Retailers who get mired in a lengthy procurement process to work with a single provider are losing out to those who pick flexible, customisable off-the-shelf solutions from a range of different companies.”

Partnerships have long underpinned the way that grocery retailers and consumer packaged goods firms work together. Now, with an increasing number of third parties on the scene (from tech providers to recipe bloggers), retailers are seeking a multitude of new partners in order to deliver more dynamic digital and omnichannel experiences.

About the author

Louise Taylor

Louise is Northfork’s editor and is passionate about all things food.