June 25, 2021
7 min read

Catering Retail Technology Innovation to Both Curious and Cautious Consumers

Catering Retail Technology Innovation to Both Curious and Cautious Consumers https://www.pexels.com/photo/paying-with-a-smartphone-4199526/

Amazon is no stranger to innovation. One of its recent launches happened on June 15, when the company announced the upcoming implementation of Just Walk Out technology in a new full-size Amazon Fresh grocery store in Bellevue, Washington. At this store, all grocery items including meat, pre-made meals, pastries and produce can be purchased without stepping foot in a checkout line. The Just Walk Out technology uses computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning to register what items the shopper has selected, and instantly charges shoppers via their Amazon account or connected credit card.  

As GK Software CEO Michael Jaszczyk told Winsight Grocery Business, this announcement by Amazon should encourage other grocers to lean into innovation. He pointed out, “The future of checkout is here, and retailers must deploy technology that’s designed for simplicity and convenience to stand out from the competition and win over customers.” But before implementing new technology, grocers must first understand how to cater their offerings towards what shoppers really want. 


Embracing customers open to change 

The announcement from Amazon excited many U.S. consumers, especially those who prioritize contactless, efficient shopping experiences in the wake of the pandemic. The Amazon Go stores across the country have done remarkably well, with 76% of shoppers who tried the cashierless experience within the first few months saying they preferred it over traditional store formats, according to a survey from Inmar Intelligence.  

Those that are open to the new technology were optimistic that overall retail transformation was in the works. The same survey found that 54% of shoppers expected this new type of store to succeed as e-commerce grows. For these consumers, they will be drawn to stores that lean into innovation and offer exciting new shopping experiences such as pop-up locations or mobile app engagement.  


Acknowledging shoppers afraid of experimentation  

However, not everyone is comfortable with new technology, or the necessary changes associated with implementing it. In fact, 43% of shoppers were not interested in seeing Amazon Go or Just Walk Out technology in their towns. For some, the disinterest comes from a fear of how it will impact their local communities. Retail Dive reported that 59% of American consumers see Amazon Go as a threat to other major grocers.  

Another concern with digital-first stores is the impact the advancements will have on elderly community members. Pew Research recently reported that only 61% of citizens over the age of 65 owned a smart phone as opposed to 96% of those younger than thirty. For groups more wary of technology, retailers must invest in easy-to-use platforms that encourage shoppers to adapt to new processes. 


Accessible innovations for everyone 

Despite the contradicting viewpoints on what the future of grocery retail – and checkout technology – looks like, there are ways to cater to both sides. The first is to offer easy-to-adopt and user-friendly innovations like BOPIS or QR Code scanning that shoppers of almost any level of digital understanding can utilize. The next is to ensure that there is always an alternative. Touchless check points should be paired with a nearby employee to help confused shoppers ease into the more innovative store experience. Technology does not have to be intimidating or exclusive. With the right solutions for the target audience, the future of grocery is bright for all types of shoppers.   


Meet the needs of all customers with GK 

We understand that your store must satisfy all potential customers on the first try in order to succeed. That’s why our solutions were designed with a variety of shoppers and digital skill levels in mind. To hear how GK Software can help your store stay ahead of the curve without leaving anyone behind, reach out to us today.