Through utilising a combination of if-this-then-that logic as well as the Internet of Things (IOT) and voice technology, Tesco has brought the shop floor closer to the end customer than ever before. While this major development marks a quantum leap towards “frictionless” shopping, such advances in technology will no doubt change the way we as consumers think about shopping. As more and more of us embrace such innovations, what can businesses do today to ensure they are capable of keeping up with the advancing technologies of tomorrow?
By joining forces with Google Home, the supermarket giant has enhanced the way customers go about their weekly shop. Instead of visiting a physical shop or ordering online, customers can now simply shout their order out loud and their google device will automatically add the item to their basket. To help further streamline the grocery shopping process, savvy shoppers can even use the technology to set up automation rules such as: “order 4 pints of milk every Monday” or “if pizza is added to basket, add beer.”
While the rapid uptake of online shopping has already had a major impact on retail supply chains, the introduction of Tesco’s latest concept could totally revolutionise customer behaviour. Put simply, if you make shopping this easy, customers will expect their shopping to be sorted with minimal interference. The moment an issue does arise, such as a stock-out or a delayed delivery, this will suddenly become far more frustrating! Retailers that struggle to offer an easy and reliable shopping experience will lose out to more effective competitors. Consequently, businesses across the retail industry now face a fierce battle for convenience. Therefore, in order to stay one step ahead, it is vital that businesses get the foundations right now.
While an availability issue is annoying enough for the customer today, in the near future, such issues will be totally out of the question! So, as new ways of shopping emerge and make life even easier for customers, retailers must ensure that they are able to satisfy their customer’s ever-shifting expectations.
By putting in place the tools, technologies and processes required to achieve consistently high levels of availability as well the visibility required to manage demand across a growing number of channels, retailers can ensure that their operations are capable of keeping up with the shifting expectations of customers.