"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."

— Albert Einstein

As we mark the words of the great scientist we realize how right he was to connect imagination with evolution. If we consider the sci-fi movies of a few years back, they are our reality now. This clearly indicates what we once thought was impossible is the reality of today’s time.  And what we think may not turn into reality would be a clear reality in the next few days. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that is making it so easy for the people in the market. 

Who thought there would be cars that would not need a driver or drones would deliver your orders, or you could get most of your tasks accomplished in simply one tap. 
Well, the reality is this is how things are functioning these days.

One industry that seems to make the best use of technological advancements these days is the retail sector. If we look at the future of supermarkets,  we would see how technology has brought the future to the present itself.  

Technology and Us: The Journey 

The way technology is transforming the world operates it is quite obvious the day is not far away from where we would be having Alladin’s Genie with us. The transformation of bricks and mortar stores has shown up and innovation will persistently shape the manner in which individuals shop. It's a truly intriguing time as large businesses embrace enormous innovation. In any case, creative tech doesn't simply should be passed on to the domain of the enormous folks there are heaps of innovation out there that can be groundbreaking for little and medium undertakings too - so be available to the advancement and watch how it can change your business.

Technologies That Are Transforming the Future of Supermarkets

When we talk about what technologies are to be considered when we talk about the future of grocery stores in 2021 then Artificial Intelligence is a must mention. Technology would always transform the way we shop and supermarkets have used some clear clever ways to make it obvious that the technology is not just for the “business” business but for everyone. Artificial Intelligence grocery shopping is changing the way the world shops. 

Read Also: How to Develop AI-Based Expense Management App like Cleo, Fyle?

If there is any technology that can change the way how things work and function, then it is just artificial intelligence. Some business people believe that Artificial Intelligence solutions are only about robots and voice aids, but the fact is it is just a part. There is a lot more in the market. 

Smartcart Generates Your Bill as You Shop 

For a simple instance, in New Zealand, a simple grocery store chain called “Foodstuffs” is exploring new avenues of Artificial Intelligence application that would read out the contents of the trolly. This would save the checkout time and the customers would not have to wait for long in the queues. 

smartcart-generaters

These carts are called the "SMARTCART". Their functioning is quite simple. Each time someone would place some grocery item in these carts, it would scan the item through the bar code readers that are fitted and automatically add to the customers’ account. The technologies used here are high-level OCRs and BCRs. 

When asked about its functioning, one of the officials reported that physical retailers should find a way to integrate such technologies in their stores for advanced experiences. AI in grocery retail has changed the way things function and auto-checkout is a classic example of the same. 

Alphabot Picks, and Packs Your Order

When we talk about a computerized vision system, then it becomes quite easier to manage the inventory in the store. It is not only about the grocery store but in general any store. CVS makes it easier for the self-buying carts to add required things to the cart.  

alphabots

Walmart has recently collaborated with Instacart with a Walmart Plus model. They have introduced AI at its best with a robot that enables stores to pick, pack, and deliver orders faster online.

The “ALPHABOT” functions almost like a human who has a list to shop with. The bot for now is used to pick up canned food, refrigerated food, and other packed stuff, and the fresh goods are still picked and packed by the human pickers. 

These bots have made the whole picking, packing, and delivering system quicker and more streamlined. It is easier to move stuff from order cart to product cart now. Not just this it saves time energy and money. Along with this, since these bots can move in a vertical direction they have made it obvious that space management is easier. 

As these bots only pick up things and do not have any carriage or lift integrated they are quite economical. 

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For now, these bots are operating in an area of 20,000 sq. ft warehouse-style space and use autonomous carts to pick up orders. 

These bots are a clear reflection of robotic grocery stores. 

Checkout Free Concept with Amazon Go 

And shopping for groceries was never the same again!

When Amazon opened its experimental store “Amazon Go” in Seattle who would have thought shoplifting could actually mean real shopping? Well, this too started as an experiment in a 15,000 sq ft. mock supermarket in Seattle that was open to the public in 2018. 

amazon-go

With around 29 stores operating and announced in Seattle, Chicago, New York City, London, and San Fransisco Amazon Go has revolutionized the way people shop. All you need to do here is install the Amazon Go application on your phone and the rest just shoplift. When you enter these stores all you need to do is put away your phone and start picking up items you need without even scanning them. Just pick up the items you need, keep them in your bag, and walk away. 

The best part is you get to return or exchange the items if you want to!

Well, this runs on a very simple algorithm with quite a complex technology.  There are several cameras and sensors on the roof just as PC vision calculations that track what customers are getting from the racks and afterward charging them through their Mastercard in the wake of leaving the store. The major technologies that are being explored in the ai grocery store are Deep Learning, Sensor Fusion, and Computer Vision. The Amazon Go model has increased the dependence on the perseverance of smartphones and geofencing technology. 

Read Also: How Can AI Help in Enhancing Logistics and Supply Chain Management?

The application gives you four alternatives, Key, About, Receipts, and More. It is the Key that lets through the turnstile. 

Who would have envisioned shoplifting for food and grocery would operate in a way where you could simply get the things you needed and leave without actually paying? The concept of cashier-less supermarkets are the general stores of things to come, and it will not take too long until we see this idea here. 

Hiku Takes Your Voice Instructions 

Hey Google, Find the Best Electronics Shop Nearby!
Alexa, Please Play My Favorite Song!
Siri, What Is the Latest News? 

Who hasn’t used these day-to-day conversations with their devices? Voice instructions these days are becoming quite popular and are making things much easier for us in general. Amongst all the things why should our grocery shopping be left behind? 

hiku-voice

The voice shopping trend is expected to show exponential growth from $2 billion in the present day to $40 billion by the end of the year 2022, says a study by the global firm OC&C Strategy Consultants. The report further reveals that almost 20% of the people who use voice search for ordering goods order groceries. 

It is obvious that simply placing an order via voice instruction is so comforting and easy and interests customers a lot. 

We realize that comfort is the best and then some and more supermarkets are noting this purchaser interest. 

“Hiku” is another experiment of ai in grocery stores. It is a simple, small, handy device that is for now used by the Coles General Store that lets the buyers simply say what they want and have it delivered to them without much trouble. 

This is a WiFi-empowered gadget that connects to the store’s refrigerator. For now, as an experiment, it is only being used to deliver refrigerated items. It would listen to your instructions add required items, for example, milk and bread to an internet shopping list. 

The little device comes with an inbuilt scanner that you can use to scan the item prices and make the payments. 

Hydroponics Delivers Fresh and Local Veggies All the Time

We have already talked about how the giants like Amazon and Walmart are revolutionizing the supermarkets with technology. When the giants are coming up with such amazing ideas how could you expect their competition Kroger to stay behind? 

hydroponics

Farm to table is an old concept in restaurants and grocery stores where organic goods are delivered to the customers. The supermart giant Kroger has given this concept a new face with hydroponics or the art of growing plants without soil. 

Yup! No Soil. Just water with a nutrient base. Enter the store and pick fresh veggies for your lunch. You can now actually use handpicked vegetables for your meals. (*Wink* *Wink*)

Let’s have a brief understanding of what hydroponics actually is. 

Hydroponics is simply a way to grow plants in water with a nutrient base instead of in the soil. This concept was initially used in vertical farming and then general stores like Woolworths and Kroger came up with the idea to make a little investment that would change the way we shop for veggies. Berlin’s Metro Store was the pioneer in putting up the investment in the technology and experimenting with it. The veggies and spices that are to be sold are grown in the store itself in glitzy shiny special boxes. 

There are a lot more stores that are adopting the technology and making it easier, healthier, and more fun for their customers to make supercool purchases. 

Gotham Greens has grown from simply one greenhouse store to eight in the city of Brooklyn now and the total area that is covered is even surprising, it is 20,000 sq. feet not on the ground but on the roof of Whole Food Market store. 

And we are still ordering canned food! 

Open Your Doors for the Delivery Bots 

“What good of a technology that can’t let your items be at your doorsteps?” 

What's to come is here! Little bodies of metal that can understand what's set inside it, stores without clerks and registration, in-store nurseries, and voice requests.

delivery-bots

Gone are the days of frowning after technology. Just be prepared to get your grocery delivered by super cute, tiny yet sturdy bots. Save Mart Companies have experimented with the on-demand grocery delivery service to its customers with tiny bots with association with Starship Technologies. The organization has successfully passed the mark of 500,000 autonomous deliveries and Save Mart is the first to partner with them. 

Starship Technologies in the past have partnered with the food delivery giants in California and now they are even delivering groceries. These robos can each carry a weight of around 20 pounds that is almost equal to 3 shopping bags.  

The best part is, these bots don’t rush. They walk slowly at a pedestrian’s speed and can cross roads, climb curbs, travel in the dark, and are functional in all weather. They are driven by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, sophisticated Sensor-based Navigation, GPS, and Computer Vision. 

These bots are quite an interesting initiative in the field of the grocery and food delivery sector but may take some time before they extend their domain. These are always monitored by humans and can be directed to the right place manually in case of trouble. 

Along with these, there are drones that would airdrop your orders. Sounds like technology would take us to the time that exists only in sci-fi movies. (We are expecting something better and grand by the end of this decade).

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And the Story Is

These are simply a few innovations in how technology has changed the way we have grown in the domain. With the tech giants entering the domain beyond healthcare and advanced technology it is becoming easier for us to find solutions that are taking grocery shopping to new heights. 

When talking about ai in grocery supply chain and inventory management, technology is only coming up with unexpected surprises. 

With a myriad of software solutions available for the supply chain, retail, and grocery sector, the businessmen are embracing innovation and experiments like never before. We have seen our vision turning to reality in a span of fewer than five years and the outbreak of the 2020 pandemic has transformed how the world functions.  With technology standing beside the Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Order Management Systems (OMS), Inventory Management Systems (IMS), fleet management platforms, the market is seeing an interesting trend. 

Other than the aforementioned strategies, there are a lot more things that we can consider as a gift of technology for the grocery stores in the market. 

Read Also: AI Recommendation System: Changing the Paradigm of Your Business

Real-Time Shelf Monitoring 

A perfect example of an advanced inventory management system makes it easier for the people in the market to manage and record what we have in store and what items are to be restocked. 

Digital Receipts 

No more slips to check the list. With digital receipts, it is easier to record your purchases and get them verified at the store exit. Not just this, the paper slips were a threat to the environment, so it is an advanced environment-friendly alternative. 

Brand Interaction

This takes Kiosk technology to new heights. With moments of joy initiative in some stores, one can play and relax for a while shopping for their groceries. 

Technology is not just transforming the way businesses run, it is actually changing the way we live. Our interaction with stores, our favorite brands, and with our loved pens is transforming over time and it is for now only for the good. 

Over the years technology has only driven businesses that are mainstream. With the world fitting in our palms now, we have walked a few steps ahead and have for you solutions where you can beat your completion easily. 

If you are looking forward to entering the market with some innovative solutions then we are just a click away.  You can reach to the experts at Octal IT Solution and get AI-based products that are unique to your business. We have been delivering world-class solutions in all fields and have also earned a reputed clientele in the short time of a couple of decades. 

Innovation drives sales in today's world and we would love to partner with you in your new project. We stand ahead of our competition when it comes to understanding and working on the technology. 

Have an app idea? Meet our experts and see what we have in store for you. 

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Arun Goyal

Managing Director @ Octal IT Solution, a prominent Mobile App Development Company offering cutting-edge iPhone App Development and Android App Development services to Startups, SMEs and Fortune-500 Companies.

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