From asking Alexa to boil the kettle, to shops with no lines or check out required, it’s clear that our everyday life has shifted towards technological advances. For us foodies out there, what does this mean for our grocery shopping experiences?
We now know that Amazon has launched Amazon Go stores, removing the biggest frustrations of shopping – queues! The idea of being able to add items to your physical basket and simply walk out of the store sounds like something we could have only dreamt of a few years back. With technology found in self-driving cars (sensor fusion, computer vision and deep learning) and a system that is effective and efficient, we are now looking at other stores and wondering – what will the future of grocery shopping look like?
Does this mean that all grocery stores will follow suit? Will there be physical stores anymore or will everything be taken online? Will drones be delivering food to our doorstep within minutes of placing an order?
A podcast discussion on the ‘future of grocery’ between McKinsey’s partners highlighted that when looking at the UK grocery retailing market, in particular, we can see the pressure placed in terms of revenue due to competition, which is also influenced by their high fixed costs. Due to this, the grocery stores end up receiving cost cuts, which in turn blocks investment in innovation.
This begs the question, with the technology having already been implemented by Amazon Go – will other retailers choose to follow in their footsteps and follow similar trends, or be leaders and invent a new way of grocery shopping? With as many as 14% of people in the UK doing all their grocery shopping online and 48% claiming that they do at least some of their grocery shopping online – we can see that grocery shopping, in general, is shifting and consumers want easy and convenient shopping experiences.
Ordering your groceries online and having them delivered the next day is already convenient, but with retail giants like Tesco’s planning to deliver groceries by a robot in under an hour, the future of grocery shopping through technology does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. This is not only a focus for the UK, but in countries such as the US, where Walmart was granted a patent for in-store drones and is planning on using drones to help their shoppers have a better experience.
Drones are said to be the next generation of retail robots and automation. In 2016, Lowe’s in the US announced that it was introducing a robot called LoweBot to improve the overall customer experience within their stores.
In addition to robots ruling the scene, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice-based shopping using home device technology will reach $40billion by 2022, and with 13% of US homes and 10% in the UK owning a smart speaker, that’s not hard to believe.
Here at Smarter, we expect the future of grocery shopping to develop rapidly and to consist of AI, drones, voice assistants and the overall personalisation of customers’ shopping experiences.
What are your thoughts on the grocery shopping and what would you like to see happen in the future? Let us know in the comments section below!