For all those “Jetsons” fans who have been waiting generations for flying cars and robot housekeepers, the grocery industry is bringing that kind of future closer to reality every day.
As online grocery has exploded, the need for new, high-tech modes of fulfillment, delivery and ordering has led to a boom in retail technology. Driverless cars, drone deliveries, A.I.-powered fulfillment centers and robotic delivery carts are just some of the innovations retailers have rolled out in the past year or so. Beyond online grocery, retailers are also aggressively building up in-store technologies for checkout, safety, and shelf stocking.
Indeed, grocery retailers are well-attuned to where they need to invest to spur growth in today’s omnichannel marketplace, a survey from Inmar Intelligence shows.
Of 300 U.S.-based grocery and retail brand executives (middle-management and higher) polled, 89% are actively improving in-store and online experiences for shoppers, Inmar said. In turn, 87% deem technology investments to upgrade their e-commerce platform as a high priority in providing more engaging shopper experiences.
Here are some of the top technology stories covered by Supermarket News over the past year.