Digitization is changing customer habits – ITNetwork

At the company’s first Maxi National Food Festival Deleuze Serbia organized an expert panel “The future of retail

The traditional way of shopping is still dominant in Serbia, but there is an accelerated growth in the number of online customers and the possibilities of food delivery from stores are being modernized, according to the panelists.

The traditional way of shopping is still dominant in Serbia, but the constant growth of online sales and digitization of business in all segments is noticeable. People are increasingly ordering groceries from supermarkets through food delivery companies, and the profile of online customers is changing, so it’s no longer just young people who “live fast” and don’t have time. On the other hand, companies are ready to digitize their operations, and trade as an industry is increasingly finding additional channels to make shopping easier for the customer.

These are some of the messages that could be heard at the “Future of Retail” panel held at the Belgrade Fair as part of the first Maxi National Food Festival by Delez Serbia.

How did the corona virus pandemic affect online trade, how much trust do customers have in online platforms and how important is it for companies to develop and invest in sustainable business? Milica Golubović, member of the Executive Board and vice-president for marketing of Delez Serbia, Žarko Malinović, secretary of the trade association of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Zorana Branković, director of operational affairs management of Bank Intesa Belgrade, answered these and other questions as part of the “Future of Retail” panel. and the chairperson of the Digital Economy Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia, Marko Kulić, head of retail at Volt, Goran Groza, head of Glovo and Milica Mišković, manager of the Forum for Responsible Business.

“For the last 15 years – as long as it has existed, the Maxi online store has been developing, technology has improved, the company has invested in processes and people, and each upgrade of the platform made it even closer to the wishes of customers. We believe that the excellent results it achieves are the result of all its benefits and the trust of customers who recognize it. The company Delez invests in the digitization of business. It was the first to offer the market a digital loyalty application that enables personalized procurement, and sees the future of retail in a sustainable business model,” said Milica Golubović, member of the Executive Board and vice president for marketing of Delez Srbija.

How much customer habits have changed was illustrated on the panel with data on the accelerated growth in the number of users and services of new digital solutions. Thus, the Maxi loyalty application “My Maxi” had more than half a million users in the first few months of its national launch, and it continues to grow. By the way, this application is the only one of its kind in Serbia that fully personalizes the offer and gives customers the opportunity to make savings on those items that are part of their shopping basket. Speaking about advanced solutions, the panelists also highlighted the advantages of new futuristic ways of shopping, which imply that customers scan the QR code on the application and at the end of the purchase, click to make an online payment from their account. Also, the company Delez Serbia announced that next year it will open the first warehouse for online food delivery on our market, the so-called DarkStore.

Zorana Branković, director of operations management of Bank Inteza Belgrade and chairman of the Digital Economy Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia, pointed out that from 2020 the presence of companies in the field of digital business will grow rapidly, as well as that the last two years have seen a noticeable growth in e-commerce transactions by more than 100 percent.

“In four to five years, I expect that the Serbian market will reach the full stage of maturity in digitization”, believes Zorana Branković.

Marko Kulić from Volt pointed out that the customer of the 21st century is increasingly demanding and expects fast delivery, a high level of service quality and a standardized order.

“The cooperation of the fast delivery service with large retail chains is proof that the trends in grocery shopping are changing, and Volt remains consistent with the practice of placing a satisfied customer at the center of its business,” says Kulić.

Goran Groza from Glovo emphasized that Glovo is a multi-category application and that it adapts to the needs of the market.

“We will always adapt the offer to our users, because the user experience and their needs are the focus of the company,” says Groza.

Žarko Malinović from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce says that consumers have a habit of giving priority to products that come from Serbia. This was demonstrated by the “Cuvarkuća” project, which confirms the domestic origin of goods. Thus, the items that received the “Cuvarkuć” mark had a growth of 30 to 70 percent.

“It will take a long time for the average customer in Serbia to completely switch to online purchasing. Cash payments in our country make up to 60 percent of the total number of transactions in stores. “Quality is key, and that’s why it’s up to retailers to fully harmonize online purchases with what customers are used to in traditional stores,” Malinović pointed out.

The panel highlighted, in addition to advanced modern solutions, the importance of sustainable business, increasing the share of healthy food sold, reducing the total amount of plastic in business, managing food surpluses and the impact that is achieved in the area of ​​climate change. Delez Srbija said that it implements a number of initiatives in each of these areas, and the current topic of rational consumption of electricity, which was implemented in the entire system in October, was highlighted in particular.

Milica Mišković from the Forum for Responsible Business pointed out that there is no future without sustainability and that more and more companies are investing in this area. And this is not the case only among large and global corporations.

“Changes are slow but long-term, and large and responsible companies, by their example, inspire smaller ones to implement high standards of sustainability in their business. The role of the state is important, because tax breaks in the area of ​​donating surplus food would encourage everyone in the chain to a higher level of responsibility”, said Milica Mišković.

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