There was a time when shoppers would spend hours in a supermarket trying to find all the grocery they wanted. Slowly but surely, this is becoming a thing of the past. Much of today’s grocery shopping experience is just a click or swipe away. However, this is just the start of the revolution in grocery shopping.
We expect upcoming shopping innovations, such as augmented reality and robotics, to take the grocery shopping experience to a whole new level. So, how is new technology expected to give us an unprecedented grocery shopping experience that improves upon the current one?
How Innovative Technologies are Changing How We Shop for Groceries
Today, the grocery shopping experience is changing rapidly. Department stores and big retailers have started to offer services like home-delivery and checkout-free shopping to make the experience convenient for shoppers. We are also seeing the in-store experience being reshaped according to the needs and wants of the modern customer.
More and more integrated technology solutions are popping up in grocery stores across the United States that ensures a personalized and convenient experience for shoppers. These technology solutions guide shoppers in store and make payments extremely easy for them. Providing innovative solutions to their customers is no longer an option for retailers and department stores. Instead, it has become a necessity.
According to a recent survey by refrigeration company Phononic, more and more Americans today desire a more innovative supermarket shopping experience. Perhaps, this is the reasons we are seeing an increasing number of retailers and department stores offer a range of innovative solutions to shoppers. So, what are the innovative technologies that are changing the face of grocery shopping? They are mentioned below:
1. Home Delivery
Today, there is wide availability of fast home delivery. Now, some retailers are looking to take this to the next level. For example, Walmart recently partnered with August Homes, a smart lock company, to not only deliver groceries to a customer’s home but also stock them in their refrigerator.
Existing innovative delivery services for grocery shoppers are getting upgraded with a rapid delivery system called Rappie. Some adopters of Rappie include Amazon’s next-day delivery and Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn. The delivery system used by Albert Heijn allows shoppers to place an order through a dedicated application. The order is delivered within two hours after being placed. Additionally, the Dutch supermarket is testing a delivery service that employs bicycle courier to deliver the popular food-to-go items of the mart within fifteen minutes.
2. Check-Out Free Shopping
When it comes to in-store convenience, there’s nothing that can top checkout-free grocery shopping. Having to stand in long queues for checkout is one of the most frustrating things about shopping at grocery stores. The good news is that some retailers today are allowing shoppers to avoid the queue entirely.
An example of this is the Amazon Go store in Seattle. Customers that visit the store can use a QR-based application and in-store technology to avoid paying at a register. In addition to Amazon, another retailer California Fresh Market also offers a ‘no checkout’ experience to shoppers. The retailer enables this experience through its mobile app.
Another company that offers a checkout-free experience is Kroger. Shoppers visiting Kroger’s retail stores can use the company’s front-end-optimized pilot program to bag items while shipping, scan to account for each product, and scan an additional register code to make payment before exiting the store. Currently, this technology is only available at Kroger’s Cincinnati stores.
Checkout-free shopping experiences are not just limited to American retail outlets. In the U.K, Amazon Fresh and Sainsbury’s also allow shoppers to use a smartphone application to scan products and pay using Apple Pay.
3. Mobile Pay
According to a report by Retail Dive, mobile payments could exceed $300 billion by 2020. Traditionally, mobile payments to retailers have been made through PayPal and Venmo. However, this is expected to change in the coming years as the big retailers come up with their own mobile payment platforms. An example of this is Walmart’s mobile payment platform that is offered in selected stores.
Using the mobile payment platform of Walmart, shoppers can make payments to retailers through their Android or Apple smartphones. The shoppers can opt to pay with either credit cards or credit cards. The shopper can choose their desired payment option at the register and then scan a QR code using their phone’s camera.
While mobile payment platforms such as Amazon Pay make payment to retailers convenient, shoppers are still not convinced about their advantages. According to a study by Bank of America, mobile wallets contributed less than 1% to total money spent in retail. Retailers are now trying to lure shoppers to make payments using their mobile payment platforms by offering them incentives and touting the ease and financial security of these platforms.
4. AR Shopping Experience
Today, grocery stores are turning to augmented reality (AR) for transforming in-store shopping experiences. For example, Dent Reality, a UK-based technology company, offers smartphone tools that retailers can use to create incredible AR experiences in their stores. By simply holding the camera of their phone over a product, shoppers can easily read their pricing and nutritional information. AR technology, such as the one offered by Dent Reality, promises to make in-store shopping a less time-consuming and more convenient experience.
In addition to the above, other technologies transforming the grocery shopping experience include robot deliveries, voice-activated experiences, and self-driving mobile grocery. However, this list is not exhaustive and there are many more technologies changing how we shop. To know about them, keep following our posts!
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