Technology has transformed shopping in recent years, with more people shopping more often and more easily without even going near a real shop. IKEA’s Place app uses AR to show you how a chair, or bed, or shelving unit looks inside your home before you decide to buy.
Alongside this, brands and retailers are increasingly producing greater ‘theatre’ and interactivity throughout the instore experience, including real-time AR tech to guide shoppers around a complicated store.
But what works in one market or category won’t always work in another. This post explores an opportunity to use techniques from a different era to appeal to today’s shoppers.
The archetypal grocer’s shop from the earlier part of the 20th century was dominated by the counter, behind which the owner and their staff served customers individually. People bought what they needed in more precise quantities that were measured and portioned out by staff from larger containers.
All this has been largely left behind in modern supermarkets, as advances in packaging, refrigeration and ‘finished’ products like bread, sauces and ready meals reduce the time and effort of preparing meals.
Many categories still use these bulk packaging and storage systems today. Imagine the experience of buying petrol in ‘handy’ 5 litre cartons, or the logistical nightmare of pubs having to rely on portion-controlled 5cl miniatures of spirits without optics. But two current consumer and societal trends are coming together in ways that mean there’s still life in these old techniques for grocery retail.