Grocery Shopping Drudgery No More

For anyone who has ever dreaded getting groceries, there are new technologies and concepts being created that could have the potential to make your local grocery store shopping experience significantly less painful.

Some of these have already been launched, to the resounding joy of mothers with young children, time strapped busy professionals, mobility limited seniors and grumpy shoppers everywhere.

Others are in patent mode and offer us a glimpse of where the menial chore of grocery shopping could be someday reduced to a simple drive through supermarket.

click-and-collect

(Photo Credit: DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR)

Click & Collect

Loblaws, which launched its pickup grocery service dubbed “Click & Collect” in the fall of 2014 in just three stores, now has grown to 48, with plans to expand across the country to another 100 stores. The service which has consumers shop online to order their groceries and then collect them at the store for a small fee is a big hit with young mothers and those that struggle through the daily drudgery of shopping in store.

Walmart also thinks customers will be pulling out their wallets for online pickup orders as a more convenient way to shop and is currently investing in locations to expand its own version of the service to locations throughout North America.

grocerants

(Photo credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Grocerants

Tactile shoppers who just love the sexiness of looking at amazing food and still feel like they are hunting and gathering their dinner will love the concept of grocerants. These stores are the perfect solutions for consumers who want others to cook for them but still want to go to the grocery store. Offering what’s referred to as home meal replacements, shoppers can find freshly made, pre-prepared food that is easily reheated at home.

amazon_go-0-1

(Photo Credit: Natt Garun)

Amazon Go

Check out free grocery services using smartphone technology uses a virtual cart to keep track of your purchases and directly bills your Amazon account. Also offering Chef prepared Amazon Home Meal kits, the appeal for consumers is a no line up shopping experience. Currently offered in Seattle, this test store is the first of many in the Amazon’s plans to expand across the United States, Canada and Europe. For anyone who absolutely hates waiting in lines, this approach to grocery shopping is a dream solution and also eliminates a lot of pain points for grocery retailers as it lowers the overall labour costs of managing a retail site.

drive-through-supermarket-simulation

(Photo Credit: the Telegraph)

Drive Through Grocery Stores

Imagine never having to leave your car and shopping while enjoying the comfort of your heated seats and stereo? A patent filed by Russian inventor, Semenov Dahir Kurmanbievich, has a plan to make shopping easier and more cost effective for grocery retail.

Using the concept of revolving racks, a conveyor belt, and packing system, shoppers simply drive up into a shopping bay and choose the items they wish from their driver’s seat. Like something from Wall-E, groceries are sent along the conveyer belt as customers complete their picks to be packed and rung through.

Driving ahead, the customer completes the purchase while groceries are loaded into the vehicle which will, in theory, help customers avoid long line ups and the inconvenience of getting out of their car. If you want to check out the complete drive through experience, click here.

Which of these concepts would work best for you? We would love to hear your thoughts about how grocery retailers could make your shopping experience go from dull to dreamy!

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Grocery shopping shouldn’t be that horrible. New retail concepts lead to better shopping experiences. https://wordpress.com/post/algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/48336

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Dreadful to dreamy drive through grocery shopping. #nomoredrudgery

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Grocery Shopping Drudgery No More

  1. It’s really amazing how easy technology can make our lives now. I remember that advertisement for AmazonGo popped up in my Instagram feed a few months ago, and I thought it was a spoof video – this can’t be real can it?
    I also remember when Loblaws introduced pre-ordering groceries and just picking them up. I scoffed at that as well – isn’t that just laziness?
    I guess the thing that disturbed me most about AmazonGo, was I immediately saw the jobs disappearing. The number of front-line worker positions will obviously dramatically decrease as technology becomes more self-sufficient. I understand the other side of that coin is it will create more jobs in the technology sector, but there are millions of people who are not qualified for that. You cannot take a cashier and send them to work at Google in most instances.
    Ultimately, it seems to me like technology for technologies sake. Does it really improve our lives? Do we really NEED it? No.
    I think preserving that 5 minute interaction with a cashier is more valuable than anything AmazonGo or “drive-thru” shopping has to offer. We are losing the “real” and any sense of our place in it. It really is no surprise rates of anxiety and depression are steadily climbing.
    Self-driving cars are very nearly ready for mass production. Will we stop having to learn how to drive a car? More jobs gone, more skills lost. When we are at the complete mercy of technology, what happens when it fails? What will we do then?

    • There is no doubt that this technology will have an effect on front line workers as things become more automated and self-service oriented. However, it is getting tougher and tougher to find front line workers. I know this first hand as I do all of the hiring for our store. The new generation, the millenials, have no intention of making a career out of working as a cashier. They have opportunities and pressure on them achieve “greater” than a minimum wage job and have been told their entire lives that they can have anything they want. I know that this is a sweeping generalization of our youth, they are a talented and educated bunch of people, but the average age of our cashiers is 55 and up and that demographic age is getting higher every year. We are sadly losing out of people willing to do this kind of work due to generations of people that think it is “beneath them”.

      Thanks so much for your insight lennyandthejets! 😀

  2. Good morning..
    It sounds like we are approaching the Jetson’s era. For the click and collect I would have to say it would not be for me. I enjoy going and picking out the perfect size apples, I like the smaller ones. I guess that I am picky in my produce since in the winter months it becomes so expensive. We have drive though pharmacies in our area now and they seem to be working. As for the self driving cars it would be a good idea especially if you would like that third glass of wine with dinner?

    • Being a tactile person myself, I can’t imagine not wanting to browse through produce, or enjoy the smells coming from the bakery and pick the perfect steak with the right amount of marbleing. However, there are times in my life, when I had three small kids under the age of 6, where a service like this would have been a gift from the gods.

      As for self driving cars….well, can we just get to where we say, “Beam me up Scotty.” Cause that would be a lot faster and some days I could really use that service! 😀 Thanks so much for your comments Cheryl!

  3. This blog fascinates me. I had no idea these sorts of options were developing and available. I love food and the experience of buying it. I couldn’t imagine not walking up and down the aisles. In Iqaluit, we have three grocery stores to choose from. There are more options in our stores now, but when I first moved here in 1998, it was hard to find anything but basic items. Even now, if weather prevents planes from landing (all perishable food arrives by plane), there might be a week or more where there is no milk or bread in town. Fog and blizzards wreak havoc on our store shelves. I’ve seen Christmas seasons where heavy cream and eggs were sold out. One of my favourite things to do when we’re on vacation is to hit the local grocery stores, especially the produce aisles. I look forward to checking out some of these new options next time I’m down south. Thanks for an interesting read.

    • Thrilled to hear that you find this as fascinating as I do Kerry! I would love to see pictures from your grocery store Kerry as I love the food experience of being in a store as well. When I travel, I prefer to eat and cook while visiting a new place as opposed to all inclusive vacations where you learn nothing about the place you are seeing. Checking out grocery stores is a huge part of that where you can browse products you have never seen before, unique produce, cheeses and meats. I love doing this as well! It’s always great to cook with something new! I think we have lots in common Kerry, except for I have a few more grocery stores to choose from in the Maritimes and not nearly the challenges that you have with the weather. Thanks so much for your comments! 😀

  4. The Click & Collect at Loblaws sounds amazing and I wish this were offered at my grocery store! I absolutely loathe grocery shopping; it is inconvenient, tedious, and time-consuming. However, I love trying new recipes and cooking, so I am often at the grocery store. Being able to order all of the ingredients I need while having my browser open to my Pinterest recipes sounds so idyllic. For me, I do think this would improve my life. I would be able to take my time selecting the things I need from the comfort of my home, and conveniently pick up groceries at the end of a long workday on my route home. Plus, since I am selecting groceries when I am relaxed and comfortable at home, I believe I’m less likely to buy the random, unhealthy splurge items I come across while passing the bakery. I disagree that this technology is laziness, I think that this is just freeing up time to devote to other, more important things.

    • I think so many of us dream of the convenience of click and collect! My girlfriend uses it for all her shopping in Edmonton and she says it saves her sanity. She has three young children and this makes grocery shopping so much easier. If you’ve ever taken a toddler into a grocery store, then you know what I am talking about.

      There is another technology that is being tested right now in China which is great for Subway users. They snap UPC codes on a virtual poster of grocery items and then pick up the groceries from a convenience store location on their way home. It makes use of the time when you are communting to an from work. I can see this having a great appeal in cities like Toronto!!

      Thanks so much for your comments on the blog Leigh! 😀

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