How Digital Transformation is Reshaping the Grocery Industry

digital transformation

How Digital Transformation Is Reshaping the Grocery Industry

In the highly competitive, low-margin world of the grocery industry, digital transformation presents significant challenges, while at the same time offering tremendous opportunities.

Traditional brick-and-mortar stores continue to dominate the grocery shopping experience, but e-grocery is growing in popularity. According to a recent study, 23 percent of American households are buying food online today. A similar study predicts total US online grocery sales will rise to nearly $30 billion by 2021.

To compete with tech-savvy retailers such as Amazon, stores are beefing up delivery options for customers, such as same-day grocery delivery and curbside pickup services. These efforts are designed to improve the customer experience, which helps to improve engagement and retention.

Ultimately, consumers want a multichannel personalized experience. This means options that range from in-store self-checkout to eCommerce and mobile applications. They also want an expanded range of payment options. For grocers, payment optimization is extremely important in this low-margin business. To achieve this, stores need to reduce the total cost of payment acceptance by lowering fees and fraud rates.

Payment Made Easy

By simplifying transactions, grocers can make shopping more convenient, dramatically improving customer experience. 

Some forward-thinking grocers are exploring options that promote lower cost payments, such as an automated clearing house (ACH), in exchange for loyalty offers and other promotions. This provides a win/win for customers and the grocer as patrons earn rewards, while grocers drive down costs.

As mobile payments become increasingly popular with shoppers, grocers are exploring the ability to vault accounts securely in a mobile application, whether it be Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, a Visa checkout, or a card on file. This allows them to use tokens to authorize transactions in a secure way that doesn’t require shoppers to re-enter card details each time they make a purchase. By simplifying transactions, grocers can make shopping more convenient, dramatically improving their customer experience.

Where Loyalty Lies

Beyond encouraging payment options, loyalty programs and rewards have proved highly effective at attracting customers and improving sales. A 2018 study, found that 75 percent of shoppers would engage with loyalty programs if they made rewards information more mobile-friendly. Further, while nearly a third of consumers still prefer to print paper coupons at home, 69 percent prefer to store and redeem mobile coupons from their phones, rather than download and print coupons.

Additionally, gift cards, also known as branded currency, are presenting new sales growth opportunities for grocers, while improving customer loyalty and reducing the overall cost of payments. First Data’s 18th “Prepaid Consumer Insights Study” found significant spend lift from gift cards in the grocery business. The survey revealed that for every gift card purchased, shoppers spent on average 94 percent more than the original value of their card.

Digital transformation is literally changing how business is done in the grocery industry. And as new competitors enter the marketplace, and experience-enhancing innovations push the industry forward, grocers must remain nimble to meet the changing demands of consumers. Those grocers who are best able to adapt to this ongoing evolution will be ideally suited to succeed in the future.

Resource Credit | Progressive Grocer 

Check out Power BI Service’s new look

Introducing the new look for Power BI Service

Resource Credit | Power BI

Power BI announced a public preview of the ‘new look’ for Power BI service. We’re refreshing the user interface to provide a modern experience that’s simpler and builds on customers’ familiarity with Microsoft products. This initial release has updates to the report viewing experience, with more updates planned over the next few months. Here’s a peek into a sample report with the new look

Why the change?

The new look is inspired by the growing use of Power BI among data workers in organizations and is designed to deliver a balance of power and simplicity. In recent times, we’ve seen a significant change in the way users interact with Power BI. Customers love the power of having a rich set of features while also seeking simplicity in user experience.

Power BI is used by millions of people every month, and we recognized the diversity in customer needs. To create the ideal experience for all users, we’ve followed a customer-centric design process, where each enhancement is informed by feedback from several customers and finalized after rigorous rounds of validation and refinement. So far, we’ve heard many encouraging things about the new look from our preview customers. Are you excited? Read on to get more details or head over to and explore the new look. 

What’s changed in the new look?

1.  Metadata – We’ve surfaced details such as last refresh date, contact information to help customers find additional context on the report.

2. Vertical navigation – Report pages are now more prominent, building on customers’ familiarity with navigation in Word and PowerPoint. Users can further customize the screen area by resizing the pane.

3.  Simplified action bar – A new, updated action bar designed to surface the most relevant commands front and center for end users, making it easier to export, subscribe, collaborate with others and delve deeper through filters and bookmarks.

4.  New filters experience – The new filters experience including the popup filter list, updated filters pane will be available by default for all reports with the new look.

5.  New colors and icons – Across the user interface, we’ve switched to a lighter color theme and updated icons – so that they complement the canvas making report content the main point of focus.

6.  Feature parity – No functionality has been removed. Additionally commands such as edit, save a copy, etc. can be found by expanding the ‘…’ menu in the action bar. Usage metrics can be accessed from the content list. No changed to edit mode. We’ve kept the authoring experience similar to that in Desktop. The new-look changes apply to the reading view only.

Here’s a summary of the action bar changes for a report in the new look.

7.  Consistent experience – Dashboards are getting the new look too. We’ve made common UX elements consistent across dashboards, reports, and apps while retaining the functional differences. See below a sample dashboard with the new look

power bi service

Here’s a walkthrough of the dashboard actions with the new look

power bi service

Opt-in, phased roll-out

We recognize that established skills and routines are powerful – and that some of you may be accustomed to specific parts of the user interface. So, we want to give customers time to adapt to the new design through an opt-in roll-out before making the new look the default experience. All Power BI Service users will be able to opt-in to the new look using the new toggle.

power bi service

This roll-out is a first step towards making Power BI easier to use and accessible to many more. Over the next few months, we will deploy updates to the new look in stages. We will carefully monitor feedback as changes roll-out and plan to make the new look default experience in approximately 2-3 months. 

FastTrack helps to speed up Windows 10 deployment


Resource Credit | Bob Davis, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft 365

Speed up your Windows 10 deployment with new FastTrack guidance

Upgrading and updating complex technology environments is no small task. To support you through every step of your Windows 10 deployment, Microsoft 365 has made investments to help you assess compatibility, make informed decisions, and reduce cost and complexity. While most people are on their way to upgrading to Windows 10, Microsoft knows there can be unforeseen challenges. They have created FastTrack for Windows 10 deployment guidance to help.

Investments to help with your Windows 10 deployment journey

With Windows 7 end of support coming on January 14, 2020, Microsoft 365 has made investments to help you through every step of your journey to get and stay current with Windows 10.

To start, Microsoft 365 has built Windows 10 and Office 365 with compatibility as a core design principle, making investments across applications, add-ins, and macros in Windows 10 and Office 365 to ensure your environment continues to work as expected following an upgrade.

Tools like Windows Autopilot can help eliminate the cost and complexity associated with creating, maintaining and loading of custom images. Desktop Analytics (currently in public preview) provides intelligence to help you make informed decisions about the update readiness of your Windows clients. The Office Readiness Toolkit helps you assess compatibility as you make the move to Office 365 ProPlus. The Desktop App Assure program from Microsoft FastTrack provides dedicated engineering resources to help remediate any application compatibility issues you might have across Windows 10 and Office 365.

New FastTrack deployment guidance for Windows 10

Sometimes you have a complex scenario and aren’t even sure where to start, or you’ve encountered a problem that has your migration stalled. There are times when you need to talk to an expert to get guidance on where to go next. Microsoft 365 has announced the new FastTrack for Windows 10 deployment guidance to do just that.

With FastTrack, we help you to envision a technical plan, determine how to onboard and deploy new services and/or users, and work with you as you deploy to get the most value out of your technology investments. This assistance is available at no additional cost for those with 150 or more licenses of eligible service or plan.

Learn more and get started

Microsoft 365 – which includes Windows 10 and Office 365 – provides the most secure productivity experience. Microsoft 365 is committed to working with you every step of the way. To learn more, watch the Microsoft Mechanics video and then sign in to to request assistance and get started. 

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