Nothing is more troublesome than coming home after a long day’s work only to realize you have to make a trip to the grocery store. Crowded isles, long checkout lines, and the inability to find some items make even the smallest of grocery list a daunting task. New technology seeks to improve the consumer shopping experience making it as easy as walking in and walking out.
Grocery stores date back as early as the 14th century when only bulk dry goods were sold. Shopping list were handed to a grocer behind the counter who would pick and package your items for you. That all changed in 1916 when a paradigm shift in the grocery store science occurred. Clarence Saunders opened the first Piggly Wiggly in Memphis Tennessee. This was the first self-service grocery store that allowed consumers to pick their own items and then be checked out.
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There are many changes coming to the grocery store in the near future. One new convenience is the use of same day delivery. The consumer places an order online and it is then packed and shipped directly to their home. A custom tailored shopping experience will be achieved in the future with the use of digital food I.Ds. These IDs will tell the store your allergies, food preferences, and dietary needs. Sensors are being installed in stores that will recognize your smartphone when you walk in. You will simply browse the store for your items, walk out with them, and be billed to your preferred payment method. In the words of Michael Chui, a partner of the McKinsey Global Institute, “when checkout is working really well, it will feel like stealing.”
The technical advances of the grocery store have come a long way and will continue to vastly change in the future. I feel as if these changes are very beneficial to us as consumers saving us time and hassle in our busy lives. Promoting healthier eating will be beneficial for all generations and can help consumers achieve a better quality of life. Change is coming and I look forward to seeing how far it can go.
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