Technology is changing how we think, work and, not least, shop
It’s always been the case. For those of you that are old enough, cast your minds back to the ‘70s and ‘80s, when thanks to advances made in manufacturing technology, cars became affordable to the masses.
The so-called baby boomers, rapidly became a car-borne society, equipped to do a food shop once a week at big box supermarkets that sprang up quickly on town fringes. The bludgeoning popularity of chest freezers further ensconced the weekly food shop in family routine. This practice was far removed from the previous way of food shopping, that involved walking every other day into town wheeling our shopping trolleys.
Now it is the smartphone that is the game-changing technology having a profound impact on our lives. Its speed of uptake has been dramatic.
So how does all this affect grocery retailing?
Chat is opening up new channels of communication between retailers (or brands) and their customers.
So-called chatbots have been developed which adopt text-based messaging as an interface between shopper and retailer Q&A software. They simply involve passing keywords from a user’s message into a search engine and then returning the results in a messaging window.