In this tech-driven world, the story is always the same: keep up or get left behind. Your grocery store is no exception.
There’s no doubt that the technology advances of today will be powering the in-store experiences of tomorrow. These new digital solutions can make running your store easier, faster, and more profitable.
On the one hand, the technology can simplify and enhance the shopping experience, leading to happier, more loyal customers. On the other, it can help prevent labour inefficiencies and streamline operations, saving time and resources for your store.
Which technology are we referring to? Three of the more promising solutions for making your store more innovative are connectivity, artificial intelligence, and automation.
If your business hasn’t begun adopting these technological innovations, now is the perfect time to start learning about how they provide key advantages and a competitive edge. Keep reading to learn more about how artificial intelligence and automation can take your grocery store into the future.
A good navigation solution helps customers find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Several stores have already set up mobile apps or kiosks to make navigating their aisles easy for customers. Customers can interact with an AI bot to get directions to a specific item or check if something is in stock. The bot can even tell if a customer is unhappy and notify a human employee to go help the customer.
Choosing the right pricing strategy are crucial steps toward maintaining a competitive advantage and meeting your financial goals. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can be harnessed to set the right prices for your products. These algorithms analyse data from different sources, such as historical sales, competitor prices, stock levels, and seasonal trends to arrive at the ideal markup.
The concept of self-checkout is nothing new, as the technologies that can support such a system have already been around for quite some time now. However, it is only quite recently that the idea of using AI for self-checkout systems has been gaining traction. Some stores have launched smart baskets that use sensors to instantly recognise and ring up items. The baskets have touch screen payment terminals attached so that customers can pay online on the go. They can also make automated credit card payments using a saved credit number on file. It’s the ultimate in convenience and your cashiers can be deployed elsewhere.
Store workers spend a lot of time moving pallets around the store while stocking shelves and have to make frequent trips to and from the backroom storage area to fetch products. AI can actively assist store staff in this common daily routine. CCTV cameras with image recognition capabilities can be leveraged to detect and count front – and back of house facing products. The idea is to keep up with inventory levels in real time and quickly replenish stock so that your operation runs smoothly.
Another way to leverage AI enabled surveillance cameras is to collect as much data as possible to find actionable insights that will boost efficiency in store. For example, tracking the most common flow of traffic around the store using CCTV heatmaps will give you visibility on the best areas to display items or what type of promotions attracted the most customers. With this data at your fingertips, you can start making smart changes to your grocery store layout, or make decisions on staff placement.
Are you feeling inspired to go high tech yet?
In today’s digital world, artificial intelligence and automation, and their underlying technology, internet connectivity, are redefining the way in which grocery stores service their customers and improve the work-lives of employees. If your business is willing to adopt the technology and go beyond the ‘norm,’ your store will be better positioned to provide a richer experience.