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The future of grocery shopping definitely seems brighter than you think. For instance, take a stroll around the T11 food market in Beijing, China, you will know what future grocery shopping holds for customers like us. What you can find here is a smooth transition between online and offline shopping experience executed in a seamless way using the boons of Artificial Intelligence.
The technology just about covers all retail operations from the backend right from stock replenishment to customer experience
T11's strategy is very innovative and smart. While technology takes the front seat they have not ignored the element of an in-store experience. They have made it a point to bring customers closer to the highest quality products in a setting that gives them a live experience, heightening their weekly grocery visit euphoria to newer levels. Similarly, the Amazon Go app uses technology like sensors and cameras to track shoppers without the need for checkout. All you need to do is scan the Amazon Go app as you enter stores.
We will look at 5 trends that will shape the future of supermarkets and grocery shops in 2021
To order online and get it delivered at your place of convenience is the most interesting and convenient mode of procurement for many customers and now most of the supermarkets have this option. But home delivery is a costly affair for many as it bites into the profit margins. Grocery and supermarket owners often end up bearing more costs than what they charge for delivery. Around the World, Grocery stores are exploring different ways to get over the problem. The most popular one is the method of increasing the drop density.
Some supermarkets are also linking their delivery services with logistic companies to reduce fleet costs. The possibility of temperature-regulated lockers are also explored so that the need for particular time slots for delivery is eliminated
The opportunities provided by advanced analytics and customer data from loyalty programs are tapped to decipher what consumers might prefer. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is also used to track each person's gender and age to recommend them with relevant advertisements and personalized products. In 2021 you will see more supermarket chains coming up with the use of AI to deliver customers with personalized experiences
Many supermarkets are implementing the shop and eat way. You can taste special dishes prepared by local chefs from the ingredients available at the store. So you can pick up your essentials and also enjoy a wonderful meal in the near future. To execute this successfully a supermarket requires a concise brand concept, customer understanding and also a technology partner to manage everything from retail to F&B (Food and Beverages)
In the future of grocery shopping, it is very important to assist customers with product discovery. Grocery stores are accomplishing this feat by bringing certain products under a definite bracket. Like, for example, parties or vegan foods. Recommendations for meal preparations are also given so that customers can easily discover the best ingredients
Digital signages also help in this regard as it displays all relevant information with respect to a product so that customers can choose easily. Display of nutritional value and price drop for seasonal products can aid customers in choosing what is best suited for them
We all know the threat posed by the use of plastic for packaging. With a need to support our environment more supermarkets are opting to sell without packaging. Customers can bring bags from their homes to take away the products. This is a great initiative taken by supermarkets and grocery stores around the world to collectively maintain a cleaner and safer environment.
In 2021, you might brace yourself for positive changes in the way you shop at grocers and supermarkets, paving way for a more friendly, convenient experience for customers. It is time for change and technology might just play the required role in redefining our grocery shopping concepts in the coming year.