Technology Is Changing The Way We Shop And The IT Needs In The Food Industry

Augmented Reality, Line-free shopping; technology is taking the food industry by storm. But increased technology also means supermarkets need increased IT services.  

Food distribution services and grocery stores are no stranger to technology. Over the past several decades, technology has changed the way supermarkets track inventory, organize shipping, manage distribution, and even deal with compliance.

A wave of new consumer-facing technology, however, means an increased need for IT services for grocery stores. From increases in cybercrimes to the day-to-day services required to manage customer data and payment information, technology in supermarkets is rapidly changing the landscape of grocery shopping.

The Latest Grocery Shopping Trends

With the advent of online shopping, ride-sharing, and meal delivery services, it should come as no surprise that we equate technology with convenience. Shopping for groceries is no different.

A survey conducted by Phononic revealed that 89% of consumers want a grocery store that is looking for ways to make shopping more efficient and easier. Yet, 50% of consumers believe grocery stores haven’t yet discovered how to take advantage of technology in the same way that other retailers have.

That is all starting to change. Supermarkets are starting to change the way we shop, looking to tech trends like AR, QR scanning, and more.

Mobile Payments

While Google Wallet was launched all the way back in 2011, and Apple Pay was introduced in 2014, mobile payment as a whole is just starting to hit its stride in the U.S. Now, retailers like Walmart and Kroger are offering their own app-based mobile payment options. Unlike other mobile wallets, Kroger’s solution combines payment options with their grocery rewards program, making it easier to shop, save, and check out.

The shift to mobile payment in supermarkets comes at just the right time. Global adoption of mobile wallets jumped 30% between 2017 and 2018. According to studies, that trend is only going to increase.

Line-Free Shopping

Another revolutionary trend in grocery shopping is the cashierless or self-scanning experience. Using a company’s mobile app to scan and pay for products is already in place at stores such as California Fresh Market, and is being tested at Kroger stores in Cincinnati.

Amazon put a different spin on the cashierless experience with its AmazonGo locations. Using both the mobile app and a series of cameras that monitor which items customers choose, Amazon is turning the grocery shopping experience into a grab-and-go model of shopping.

Augmented Reality

One of the latest trends in supermarket technology comes in the form of Augmented Reality (AR). While specific brands, such as Chiquita, LiDestri Food and Drink, and 19 Crimes talking wine labels are already using AR to enhance the consumer experience, AR is set to change the way grocery stores interact with their customers.

One London-based startup is staged to introduce a way for consumers to direct their phone at a specific product and see price comparisons, stock information, and discounts. This AR technology even has the ability to help shoppers navigate through grocery stores more efficiently, rather than wasting time trying to find a specific product.

Resourcing Supermarket IT Needs

Using technology to make our grocery shopping easier and quicker is an appealing trend for most shoppers. What does that mean for the supermarkets? As new technology is developed and implemented, grocery stores will depend on effective IT measures and services more than ever before.

EPC IT Solutions has been serving Bay Area food distribution companies and grocery stores since 2001. With expertise in both backend and customer-facing IT assets, EPC has proven to be the go-to solution for food distribution IT management. As you look to update your technology and stay up with the latest trends, we’re here to provide the best quality IT services for grocery stores throughout the Bay Area. Contact us today to learn more about our IT services for food distribution and supermarkets.