Shopping habits are changing, and that’s not limited to where we buy our clothing and computers. While brick and mortar retail continues to transform to meet ever-changing consumer digital-driven demands, the grocery industry is becoming more adaptive to meet rising challenges from the competition.
One quick look at recent retail statistics reveals that shoppers are relying more on mobile devices. 86.2% use smartphones to research products in-store, and 83.8% want store clerks to use the same technology according to iVend Retail’s 2019 Global Shopping Trends: Essential Insights for Retailers.
The grocery industry is taking notice. While the industry has implemented technology into the shopping experience through mobile apps, grocery delivery, and self-checkout, CTOs continue to research and invest in new enhancements.
Retailcustomerexperience.com recently broke down 5 technologies primed to transform the grocery shopping experience:
The publication cited:
- Robot Deliveries
- Check-out Free Shopping
- Augmented Reality
- Voice Activated Experiences
- Unattended Deliveries
Not only will some of these implementations make shopping more efficient, but they will also make the experience more fun!
This will be important as more audiences get used to customizations, priority and free delivery, and easy navigation like what they are currently experiencing with Amazon Prime. It remains to be seen if consumers are loyal to Amazon.com because of those features of Prime or for their loyalty to Amazon itself.
Either way, that ‘Prime Mindset’ needs to be quickly adopted by grocery decision-makers. Here’s why. Reports have recently surfaced that Amazon is considering opening a new grocery chain separate from its Whole Foods stores.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Amazon will open at least a dozen stores, and the first store could open this year in Los Angeles. The article also indicated that Amazon had inked deals for at least two more locations that would open as early as Q1 of 2020.
Amazon already offers a grocery delivery service and Amazon Go. The Amazon Go may be the biggest threat – as it allows people to grab what they need and leave with their Amazon accounts being charged automatically.
How much of a game-changer will Amazon be in the grocery space?
Considering that it purchased Whole Foods for $13-Billion, and it recently pulled the plug on dozens of pop-up shops in retail locations, it may have its sights set on grocery dominance.
Industry experts warn that long-time grocers will be game for a good fight. Elley Symmes, senior analyst at Kantar Consulting, told Produce Retailer, “I think everyone kind of overhypes what Amazon does in grocery and forgets A) how difficult the grocery business is and B) how the Krogers, the Albertsons, the Aholds, the Hy-Vees, H-E-Bs, while they can sometimes be less innovative, they are incredibly knowledgeable of how to operate a traditional grocery space, something that Amazon doesn’t necessarily have as much of … ” Symmes said.
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