Supermarket Super-Tech: Digital is Transforming How We Shop

category: Trends

sectors: Retail

Food shopping is something we all have to do, but can it be better?

Grocery shopping as we know it is shifting. Big retailers and department stores have started to target pain points that consumers have struggled with for years. Services like home-delivery have changed the game, offering ultimate convenience for busy shoppers.

In-store experiences have also begun to mould to the modern consumer. We’re starting to see integrated technology solutions and secure touchpoints like tablet enclosures, which help supermarkets with cross-sell services, offer personalised deals, guide shoppers around the store and increase sales.

Interesting initiatives are popping up in supermarkets worldwide. Here’s what we can expect to see more of in the future.

Just walk out

Already we are seeing an increased number of mobile payment options and self-checkout facilities dotted around popular supermarkets. Online-retailer Amazon recently opened its first bricks and mortar store which featured the revolutionary Just Walk Out check-out system. Used to battle queues, customers can simply pick up the items they want and walk out the store. Tesco piloted a similar checkout method whereby customers could scan items on their phone to pay, however some customers where just not paying. Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive pointed out “The technology exists to do it but does the customer behaviour support it?”

Super-speedy home delivery

Impressively fast home-delivery is widely available, but some supermarkets are working to push this even further. Consumers are already acclimatised to Amazon’s next-day delivery and Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn is pushing this kind of innovation within the supermarket sector. Currently testing a rapid delivery system, Albert Heijn is piloting Rappie, whereby orders can be placed via a specially developed app and delivered within two hours. They are also testing a service that offers delivery of the supermarket’s popular food to go items within 15 minutes via bicycle courier.

Image courtesy of The Seattle Times

More than just a supermarket

We’ve seen high-street bricks and mortar stores pushing interactivity to improve engagement and supermarkets are likely to do the same – turning into a destination rather than just a shop.

In the wine and spirits section of Waitrose, customers are invited to relax and learn more about their quality drink selection on desk mounted tablet and iPad kiosks.

Grocery stores will be pressured to meet omnichannel demands by creating a shopping experience that combines online and offline seamlessly. This involves practical technological solutions for shoppers, in order to meet their needs in a new way.

This is exactly what was offered to shoppers at a Brazilian supermarket in São Paulo via tablets installed on trolleys. The ‘Recipe Cart’ campaign (run by Hellman’s) used NFC readers to show shoppers how nearby ingredients could be mixed with mayonnaise to create new meals.

According to Hellman’s, the campaign saw mayo sales increase by almost 70%. Such success could take this idea beyond a branded marketing campaign to offer up thousands of recipe ideas to customers.

From in-store cafes to colleagues and technology that can provide customers with in-depth knowledge about the food and its origins, supermarkets will aim to provide a holistic experience for its shoppers.

Image courtesy of Best Marketing

 Supermarkets of the future

Italy’s largest retail chain, Coop, created the mesmerising Supermarket of the Future. In a nutshell, it’s an “Ultramodern sustainable take on the traditional local food market, with benefits of high tech equipment such as cloud technology, IoT and mobile technology,” according to Microsoft. Consumers interest in health, food and sustainability is on the rise and these informative screens are one way to provide answers to all their queries in-store. Technology allows supermarkets to evolve in a way that makes food shopping as painless as possible. Making quick delivery, quick payment, short queues and digital displays of helpful information and suggestions all possible, supermarkets of the future will overcome pain points of today.

Image courtesy of Microsoft