Is in-store dig­i­tal ready for prime time?

Con­sumer-fac­ing tech gar­ners mixed re­views.

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Contents - By John Karolef­ski

Con­sumer-fac­ing tech gar­ners mixed re­views.

The su­per­mar­ket set­ting is grad­u­ally be­com­ing more dig­i­tized, with bea­cons, video screens, and at­shelf elec­tronic pric­ing. Al­though de­ploy­ment of con­sumer-fac­ing tech­nol­ogy 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 at­shelf sig­nage and elec­tronic pric­ing are un­der­go­ing pi­lot test­ing by many re­tail­ers, with some pos­i­tive ini­tial re­sults, Sharma adds.

Eval­u­at­ing ef­fec­tive­ness is chal­leng­ing be­cause the pur­pose of such tech­nolo­gies is of­ten un­clear, ac­cord­ing 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 in­creas­ingly tech-na­tive pop­u­la­tion will view some­thing ei­ther as busi­ness as usual or un­nec­es­sary noise.”

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