“Hey Siri, Can you order milk, eggs and cereal for delivery on Saturday morning?” The way consumers purchase their groceries continues to shift rapidly with the help of technology. Smart home devices are no longer just being used to ask for directions or answer a question. Consumers’ Alexa, Siri or Google Home can now order grocery items from some retailers right to their doorsteps. In fact, Forbes research revealed that 29 per cent of US consumers use a voice-controlled interface, while 41 per cent plan to do so in the future. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of current smart home device users already shop by voice.
Other trends include groceries being ordered by scanning QR codes in store or by using a mobile app, transforming physical stores into digital ones. The UK’s Sainsbury Grocery chain recently took a step further and launched a three-month pilot program that involved completely removing the checkout area and cash registers from one of their stores. Instead, customers will walk through the store, scanning items with their smart phone and placing them into their basket. Once their shopping is completed, they move to a bagging area and scan a QR code to confirm their purchase.
The rise of artificial intelligence is also on the horizon. Imagine it being used to recognize a shopper’s location within a grocery store and prompt them to purchase with questions such as, “Your fridge is low on milk. Why don’t you pick some up?” or “You are out of shampoo and your brand is on sale today. Want to take advantage of the savings?”
There’s no way of knowing exactly what will come next, but Canadian grocers can position themselves to keep pace with new technology trends. First and foremost, through continual investment in mobile-friendly, highly responsive websites. Second, through ongoing site optimization for all search methods, including assistive technologies and voice. Finally, by using increasingly robust analytics platforms to profile onsite behavior, leverage predictive analytics and enable proactive interaction with consumers at every stage of their buying process.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about keeping up with changing industry trends.