Digital technology is sweeping the grocery store aisles (part 2 of 2)
In part one of this series, we looked at how consumers are demanding changes to the traditional grocery shopping experience, especially as they become more and more empowered by the assistance that technology can provide. In part two, we’ll explore how big retailers are racing to adopt the trends consumers are most enthusiastic about.
Digital has gained traction with grocery shoppers and retailers are ready to meet demand
Rising expectations and new tech are, for the first time, creating the need for an omnichannel grocery shopping experience. Not to worry: the brick-and-mortar grocery store is not in danger of extinction, but facing an evolution. Consumers will always need to grab something on the way home from work or have a post-dinner craving to satisfy. This further supports the importance of integrating and aligning online and in-store experiences. With technology’s help, these errands become a seamless part of the day rather than a burden.
“Online shopping, which has gained a strong foothold in the industry, is expected to account for as much as 10 percent of overall food purchases by 2022,” says the OCR Register. Big retailers are sprinting to integrate the digital and in-store experiences their customers want.
Walmart and other retailers have already begun dedicating space to curbside pickup. This cross-over between the online and physical areas will only increase. As discussed in the same article, “Walmart, ranked the nation’s top grocer in 2018, plans to spend $833.8 million for new store construction and/or improvements across six states this year. Aldi says it will spend more than $5 billion over the next five years.”
As technology advances, shoppers will want lines eliminated entirely. Amazon Go pioneered the idea of a cashier-less store, and it’s picking up traction: “86% said mobile apps will allow people to scan groceries as they shop and then pay for them without having to go through checkout. 79% expect most supermarkets to become primarily self-checkout.”
All of this evidence points to the conclusion that just grabbing milk and bread will never be the same again. While the idea of grocery shopping seems timeless, it’s an industry quickly being overhauled by technology. As changes rapidly reshape the industry – and consumer expectations change with them – grocers will need to take steps to stay fresh in every aspect.