Demystifying the Hacking of supermarkets

The specialist, Martha Gabriel, explains the concept and how it can be applied to the sector’s Digital Transformation

APAS Show 2019 has as theme: Super Hack – Hacking the Supermarket, and this year the focus is to explore how supermarkets can grow with the help of technology. To talk about this approach, APAS Show invited Martha Gabriel, writer, consultant and lecturer in the fields of digital marketing, innovation and education, for a dialog aimed at demystifying the term “to hack” and the possibilities of gains from this practice.

In this article you will not miss anything that the specialist had touched on the theme of APAS Show 2019, in a dialog with the executive editor of Mundo do Marketing, Bruno Mello. From the concept of the word “to hack” up to the merging of what is digital with what is physical, learn how supermarkets can be prepared to offer remarkable experiences to the consumer.

The origin of the term “to hack” comes from the information systems field and it means access to a previously blocked system. Different from what we were used to understand, hacking can have a positive connotation from the idea of opportunities generated from this process. In accordance with Martha, hacking the supermarket is to optimize the results and to have access to something better for each operation.

Impact on the operation

To hack a system, it is necessary to know it very well. From contact with the consumer up to the logistics of stocks and distributors, everything has to be directed to improve business performance. “Hacking is understanding how to apply Amazon Go’s technology to my business, for example. It does not mean, however, doing the same thing. It is necessary to understand which actions can be done with the available resources”, Martha says.

The focus of many chains on the implementation of technologies to cause impact on the consumer is noticeable, whatever the channel may be. “This happens because there is a vast demand for new experiences at the point of sale, but, at the ‘stores’ backrooms’, the technology can aid the operation in a series of other areas that are also essential to deliver a pleasant experience to the customer,” Martha explains.

According to the specialist, Digital Transformation is an opportunity so that supermarket professionals and administrators may test any tool prior to its implementation. This way, it is easier to avoid unforeseen circumstances that may compromise the operation. In social networks, for example, it is common to hack the system by testing videos that most operate and the schedules in which there is more engagement.

Critical thinking

According to Martha Gabriel, the main challenge today for the supermarket sector is to change the mentality and to break down the barriers that exist to improve the stores’ entire process.

“It is always necessary to review the processes. Small and large supermarkets serve different publics and act on different issues in the operation. Understand who you are and begin to analyze all procedures. Try to automate what is within reach. Be agile and flexible,” the author of the bestseller “Marketing na Era Digital” (Marketing in the Digital Era) teaches.

Today, technology makes a lot of administrators and consumers to believe that the virtual environment superposes what is physical. However, Martha Gabriel ensures that what is digital and what is physical are complement to each other. “Administrators have to have critical thinking, that is, it is not enough to simply follow what the other does. If he is big and I am small, I have to think of what can work with creativity. Having connection with technologies, with people and having resiliency,” the specialist affirms.

Despite that it is one of the Digital Transformation pillars, creativity alone does not solve the operation issues of a supermarket. “Above all, it has to be implemented with cares because no idea will be better than its correct implementation. Less complaints and more hands in the cookie jar. If you make a mistake, try again,” Martha suggests.

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