Grocers rely on technology to solve ‘extreme barriers’, but does this strategy pay off or cost more?

According to the trade group’s recently released annual survey, Food Retail Speaks,Technology investments may be the key to overcoming these challenges – but at what cost?

“Rapid adoption of technology was and is a key component”overcome challenges​​​


This includes expanding e-commerce, adopting frictionless checkout in stores and using new technology to manage inventory planning, pricing and differentiation, a double-edged sword that promises long-term benefits but limited short-term gains, the survey showed.

“Rapid adoption of technology was and is a key component in helping food retailers and their suppliers overcome the many challenges posed by COVID-19,”Chief collaboration officer Mark Ba​​​um said nearly three-quarters of food retailers continue to invest in and experiment with technology to improve customer experience and increase business efficiency.

He explained: “LLast year, food retailers invested an average of 1.3% of total sales in technology, or more than $1.5b, and 83% expect their technology growth to increase again this year. Some of the areas where they’re really seeing a major tech overhaul include technology to personalize the shopper experience to enhance foodservice ordering and delivery and allow for dynamic pricing, product traceability, especially around mobile checkout systems to make checkouts faster, smoother. “​​​

He added that food suppliers spent twice as much on technology over the same period as advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning for business processes such as price optimization, assortment planning and supply chain logistics.

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