Progressive Grocer

JAN 2017

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January 2017 | progressivegrocer.com | 97 Technology In-store Solutions T he supermarket setting is gradu- ally becoming more digitized, with beacons, video screens, and at-shelf electronic pricing. Although de- ployment of consumer-facing tech- nology is generally considered modest in grocery stores across the country, there's enough of a track record to study its early performance. What's the report card? Rajeev Sharma, president of VideoMining Corp., a State College, Pa.-based provider of in- store behavior analytics, believes that many of the digital technologies deployed in supermarkets are still in their early phases, so the net impact on the shopping experience is minimal. So far, however, in-store digital signage has been used effectively by several retailers to improve the shopper experience, while at-shelf signage and electronic pricing are un- dergoing pilot testing by many retailers, with some Is In-store Digital Ready for Prime Time? Consumer-facing tech garners mixed reviews. By John Karolefski positive initial results, Sharma adds. Evaluating effectiveness is challenging because the purpose of such technologies is often unclear, accord- ing to David Shukri, "retail champion" at Mindtree, a Warren, N.J.-based IT services and consulting firm. "Do they help to increase basket spend or support loyalty and retention?" he asks. "We have to be careful as market observers and technology vendors not to overplay the 'wow' factor at a time when an increas- ingly tech-native population will view something either as business as usual or unnecessary noise." Shining Beacons For his part, Barry Stone, director of marketing at New York-based Digital Social Retail, is more enthu- siastic about emerging technologies in grocery stores. "e latest digital technologies, such as beacons and digital signage screens, have enhanced the con- T ag S , T hey're i T i nteractive shelf tags, like these at Kroger's Cold Spring, Ky., store, are emerging as a key component of the in- store digital experience. Kroger's intent is to provide the best digital experience." —Brett Bonner, Kroger Continued on page 100

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