Sensors in grocery stores and customer benefit

An article in the Wall Street Journal (January 20,2017) titled “Kroger tests sensors, analytics in interactive grocery shelves” describes Kroger, the US grocery chain, deploying sensors that detect mobile devices and, through LCD screens on aisles, interact with customers’ shopping lists. The devices also permit additional information being displayed to customers regarding ingredients through the Kroger mobile app. Will such additional sensors in brick and mortar stores increase their competitiveness relative to pure ecommerce grocery options? How might such devices increase the possibility of impulse buys? Will education regarding novel menu options or substitutes that are healthier or customized pricing increase profitability for grocery chains ?


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3 Responses to Sensors in grocery stores and customer benefit

  1. Christine Rasquinha says:

    For consumers that are shopping e-commerce for groceries, they may not be doing this because they are trying to find the healthiest products or research information. They may be shopping online because it is convenient and it uses less time than buying everything in the store and standing in a line. As a result, by the company adding devices that provide additional information to customers, it may only affect the current customer base who is trying to focus on being healthy and looking for items based on a recipe. By having this additional information, I don’t believe this will affect impulse buys positively because impulse buys are made with little information and having additional information that shows that a certain food is not healthy may lead consumers to not buy a product.

    • Sarinah says:

      I agree, customers do buy online for convenience and having an app to provide more information may not necessarily increase the foot traffic for brick and mortar stores.

  2. Sarinah says:

    An article from RetailWire mentioned that only 5.6% of respondents of the survey by Symphony EYC use their mobile phone to actually buy groceries during the past months. Yet the mobile apps for supermarkets are continuously being launched. A good approach to study the benefits would be to know the specific reasons why consumers go to brick and mortar stores in the first place. Is there a perception that delivery at the store keeps food more fresh because they can physically inspect the good?

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