It's here. The moment that a lot of grocery and c-store chains have been dreading. It was always going to be here. It's a small start but the signs are ominous. Amazon with its almost infinite skills in Big Data, personalization and most importantly logistics is entering the fresh foods market. This will surely mean more convenience to the customers who are already familiar with an incredibly reliable and efficient delivery system. One-click grocery, efficient pick-up, personalized recommendations and reliable quality.
It's a small start, but grocery chains that don't move now to usher in the new era of retail will be left behind in a few years. Leveraging customer data, improving personalization, mobile-centricity and building efficiencies into in-store experiences are the only options for those who want to survive in this new reality.
This is just a warning shot from Amazon. Of course there are tens of thousands of supermarkets, and I don't mean to spell gloom and doom, but the future is evident and early movers will be the only ones to prosper in this new tomorrow. Supermarkets that build deeper relationships with their communities, get smarter with their data and build strategic partnerships to stay in the technology game are sure to weather this change.
This is definitely an interesting application of beacon messaging. The focus on a larger scale should be on improving the experience for the shopper, not just increasing sales.
Today's shopper is an experiential shopper. Thrilled shoppers leads to happy shoppers which leads to increase loyalty and sales. Discounts and promotions are just one of the ways of getting shoppers to buy. How about in-store kiosks that are beacon enabled so shoppers automatically are signed in when they tap the screen? Or being able to discover what's new in the aisle or department you are in? Or a coupon reminder triggered when you are close to a product that you clipped a coupon for?
Ultimately though, the combination of context and personalization is what should dictate the use cases.