In a stunning move, Amazon has just purchased Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. In light of this surprising purchase, many people are now wondering what the future of the grocery store will look like.
Amazon has long been viewed as a pioneer and an innovator, and now that the retail giant has moved into the grocery store space, it could spell massive changes for the grocery industry. Here is how the grocery store of the future may look.
1. Grocery store apps
With its purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon plans to create grocery stores in which all customers use an app to shop. The way it works is that customers will scan their phones when they enter the store and then the app will be activated. Then every item that shoppers put in their carts will be added to their bill. Payments will be made automatically through the app as soon as customers leave the store. This will eliminate the need for cashiers entirely. It will also significantly speed up the shopping process.
2. Smaller stores
Future grocery stores will probably be smaller. This is because if other stores follow the new model that Amazon is creating, then there will be no need to have a large section where people can check out. Instead, the stores will only have areas that are filled with food options. Amazon claims that its new grocery stores will only be about 1,800 square feet. This is much smaller than many current grocery stores.
3. Expanded use of ecommerce
The grocery store of the future will most likely have an expanded use of ecommerce. This is because future grocery stores will not want to miss out on all of the shopping that people do online on their laptops, or on their phones. One grocery store, Kroger, has already begun experimenting with ecommerce. Kroger has created a service called Click List which takes advantage of ecommerce. With Click List, a person can shop for groceries online. Then an employee at Kroger will go around and collect all the groceries. Then you can schedule a time to go and pick up the groceries. This is an innovative way to use technology for grocery shopping.
In the future, grocery stores could be very different. Yes, you will still shop for groceries there. However, as stores look to become nimbler and to expand their profit margins, technology could be used more and more by grocery stores. Amazon and Kroger are paving the way for this to happen. However, many more grocery stores could adopt their innovations as time goes on.