The future of supermarkets – has changing the way we shop, changed the way we store food?

28/01/2020 |

With retailers hopping on the cashier-less bandwagon in an effort to attract time-crunched shoppers, we explore the future of supermarkets and how shopping behaviors are switching up the system.

Responsibilities at home and work are taking their toll on everyday life, leaving people increasingly time-poor, searching for convenience and ease at every opportunity.

Understanding the needs of the everyday consumer, retail giant Amazon launched the world’s first cashier-less store, Amazon Go, in 2018.

Since its introduction, Amazon Go has rolled out a further 17 stores in the USA, with international stores making their way to the UK and Europe soon.

amazon go entrance

Amazon Go was first launched in 2018.

Ready, Steady, Amazon Go

The supermarket industry has been discussing and attempting a faster checkout experience for years. Yet online retailer Amazon might just have pipped them to the post with Amazon Go.

The futuristic retail store lets customers pay for items without the assistance of a cashier or self-service checkout.

To use Amazon Go, customers must download the dedicated Amazon Go app to their smartphone and scan their QR code to gain entry.

Once inside, customers can pick up items off the shelves and place them in their shopping bag. Cameras and sensors monitor the collected items, adding them to the virtual basket on customers’ Amazon accounts, The New York Times reports.

When they’ve finished their shop, customers simply walk out of the store, confident that they have already paid for their shopping through the app.

A Change in Shopping Behaviors

The stores have already seen massive success.

In a survey of 1,000 Americans by Shorr Packaging Corp., 84% of respondents said they see Amazon Go as a type of grocery shopping experience that they would enjoy more than traditional grocery shopping.

And many analysts feel the grocery industry is ripe for change. Consumers’ habits have changed dramatically, and grocery chains have not necessarily kept up. Automation of the customer experience and the removal of friction when buying groceries could bring a true change in the category.

shopper in supermarket

Shopping habits are changing.

The Need for Reliable Refrigeration

Amazon Go is all about convenience. Most custom will happen at lunchtime when consumers are looking for a grab and go meal suitable for their dinner break. Sandwiches, juices, yogurt, and fruit are all viable options that require smart refrigeration solutions.

So, if cashier-less shopping is the future, how does store equipment need to be designed to meet demand?

With little staff around to upsell, stores must display products in attractive ways to tempt customers to buy.

Customers need to be tempted into buying refrigerated stock with classy LED lighting, helping display food products in their best light. Bespoke POS panelling can also be used, providing a branded experience.

LED lighting inside a True refrigerator

LED lighting helps show food products in their best light.

As well as thinking about an attractive display, it’s important to consider restocking issues that may arise due to limited staff members.

True’s latest innovation, our e-bracket shelving, enables maximum storage capacity, without affecting food safety or presentation. Helping store managers to utilize all available space, ensuring no one misses out, or must ransack through produce to reach what they want – a key feature for when convenience is paramount.

Vast amounts of stock also need to be kept at constant cool temperatures, which can be a challenge when refrigerators are full and busy customers are opening and closing doors on a regular basis. Refrigeration equipment needs to not only be robust enough to keep up but also efficient enough to maintain a constant, food-safe temperature, despite the relentless use.

Through extensive development and testing, True is balancing hydrocarbon refrigeration systems with the latest in energy efficient components and our own patented technologies. Our products maintain consistent, accurate and safe storage temperatures, even in the most demanding environments. This makes our products highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly, without sacrificing on performance or food safety.

The Future of ‘Futuremarkets’

The need for speed is becoming increasingly popular and with Amazon Go’s introduction, shows no sign of slowing down.

While still in its early stages, there’s no doubt that cashier-less stores are a viable option for a time-poor generation. It’s a novel concept and True is confident it will progress further, though careful consideration must be taken to ensure customers keep coming back for more.

By choosing equipment that not only tempts people into buying but also has the ability to keep up with relentless demand, cashier-less supermarkets are set for success and here at True, we can’t wait to see where they’re headed.

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Amazon Go word mark and/or logos are registered trademarks owned by Amazon Inc.

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