As a result of competitive disruption (e.g., Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods plus their introduction of Amazon Go, a high-tech, convenient mini-market), grocery retailers can no longer adhere to their traditional marketing strategies. Consequently, AI (Artificial Intelligence) solutions will help facilitate the transformation of the supermarket industry.
Accenture, a leading global consulting firm, disclosed in their Technology Vision 2017 for Consumer Goods survey, seventy-eight percent of executives agree that AI will be a game changer. Established AI solutions have already revolutionized how leading retailers have enhanced their engagement with customers to deliver superior service. A market leader that is skating to where the puck is going to be is Walmart.
An American multinational retail corporation, Walmart has evolved into the largest grocer in the U.S. thanks to leveraging innovative technology to create the “seamless customer experience.” For starters, they recently upgraded/redesigned their smartphone app to include a product search bar, barcode scanner, customer reviews and Walmart pay features. Customers can now make “smart” shopping lists to price and check item availability in order to project the total cost of their shopping basket before they enter a Walmart store. Store navigation maps also facilitate a more convenient shopping experience. In addition, in select sections (e.g., pharmacy), Walmart implemented “Scan and Go” shopping so customers can bypass the regular queue for an accelerated shopping experience. Another innovative addition in select stores has been their Pick-up-Towers; self-service kiosks. Customers scan the barcodes from their online receipt and products will appear on a conveyor belt. This past week, Walmart announced they will be testing an automated robot, “Alphabot” to assist their grocery fulfillment team. Bottomline: With their continual investment in technology to enhance their customers experiences, Walmart will be building a depository of data creating AI solutions to augment their consumer marketing as well as improve their overall operational performance.
On your mark, get set, go! Experience the AI world of grocery shopping.