Supermarkets are establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of a general line of apparel, dry goods, hardware, housewares or home furnishings, groceries, and other lines of limited amounts. The apparel, home furnishings, and housewares are normally arranged in separate sections or departments with accounting on a departmentalized basis.

  • Departmental and Discount Stores in the US have combined annual revenue of about USD 490 billion.
  • The industry includes 10,000 companies that operate 40,000 stores.
  • The industry is highly concentrated with the 20 largest companies operating 26,000 stores and holding 95% of the market.

Despite being highly concentrated industry segment, there are quite a few operational challenges faced by Supermarket Retailers.

This post attempts to list some of the challenges faced by Supermarket Retailers and how best does iVend Retail address these challenges.

Operational Challenges

Stock Counting

A typical supermarket has thousands of SKUs categorized into numerous departments, categories, brands, etc. and inventory being a significant investment in a supermarket business, keeping track of stock counts becomes one of the most important activities and process that is required to be executed periodically at the stores.


Having decided to run a promotion is one bit, getting it executed well in time – quickly is a completely different challenge. A supermarket retailer runs multiple promotions concurrently across different product lines. Many a times a particular SKU qualifies to more than one promotion. Keeping track of these multiple promotions and ensuring they get “applied” in the right order is extremely critical.

Store specific pricing by product – Supermarket stores cater to a specific demography. As a result, retailers have to maintain different price structures for different stores. Ability to maintain different price structures by store by product is a challenge for a retailer.


Coupons have been a successful marketing tool for many retailers and it is a norm to see different coupons offered in a Supermarket. These coupons are either from the Supermarket retailer or may be from the manufacturer of the product being sold in the supermarket. How does a retailer issue his own coupons and also maintain track of the manufacturer’s coupons in a big challenge.

How to keep getting customers back?

Its human nature to love recognition and better still if the recognition is monetary. Supermarket Retailers run the extra mile to retain customers by rewarding them in some way or the other for their business. However to maintain a comprehensive database and record of the consumers buying patterns and buying cycles, retailers are faced with challenged should they not have a formal rewards management application.

How Does iVend Help

Stock Counting

iVend Retail offers supermarket retailers with a comprehensive stock counting feature. The application allows retailer to define different cycle counts for different product groups or categories. Not only this, the actual stock counting process can be spread over time without disrupting the normal business for the specific product group or category.


Numerous promotion types can be configured with the extremely flexible promotions engine. The promotions engine also allows the supermarket retailer to define promotion hierarchies with exceptions. Complex promotions like extending discounts along with additional loyalty points can be configured. A retailer can specify whether or not to consider for a particular promotion the items which are already discounted in a different promotion.


Flexible and configurable coupons setup allows supermarket retailers to not only define its minimum value, but also allows to configure whether a coupon can be issued at the POS or not, how many times a particular coupon can be redeemed at the store, whether the discount is a percentage or an absolute amount, and many more such configurable parameters. The application also allows to attach manufacturers, specific SKUs, make the coupon applicable only to a specific set of stores, etc.

How to keep getting customers back?

iVend Retail comes with a seamlessly integrated points and rewards management application – iVend Loyalty, which allows to define flexible plans for points accumulation and redemption. A retailer can specify the different levels of card holders with different point accumulation and redemption policies – for example – while Platinum card holders get the maximum points for their business, they can only redeem 80% of their points in one transaction.

The application is capable of handling complex plans like – get double the points for a bill value greater than $250 if the payment is done through AMEX cards.

The application also allows the retailer to constantly communicate with their consumers through pre-defined (editable) e-mail templates.

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