Courtney Allan


The new changes in technology that could impact the way you shop

The new changes in technology that could impact the way you shop

Supermarkets are tipped to be unrecognisable in five years, with checkouts to be phased out and interactive smartphone apps to be introduced as a routine feature.

Technology is rapidly becoming more personalised and utilised for a faster shopping experience for the Australian shopper.

Much of the technology is commonplace in the US and is likely to filter into Australia quickly.

Developers are given flexibility in the United Kingdom, with some utilising augmented reality to steer a shopper’s experience, suggesting recipes and leading them to related ingredients.

Food retailing expert Gary Mortimer from the Queensland University of Technology said that supermarkets were struggling to refresh and rejig the shopping experience to attract customers.

He told The New Daily:

“The challenge that the big supermarkets face is the constant requirement to be new and different,” he said.

“They’re trying to transform a boring, mundane daily task in grocery shopping.”

Companies offering same-day or two-hour deliveries in select areas is a step in the right direction.

“When you buy a T-shirt or clothing online you expect to receive it in a few days,” Professor Mortimer said.

“But when you buy groceries you really want it delivered on the same day, or within a few hours.”

Some stores are trialling checkout-less supermarkets in Australia and in the US, it’s predicted that they’ll disappear completely within ten years.

Professor Mortimer also predicts that smartphones will be at the heart of augmented reality and artificial intelligence development for a customer’s personalised supermarket experience.

Beacon technology is linked to smartphone apps that pushes out notifications and messages whenever a user goes near a beacon’s “sensor”.

“(The sensors will be) embedded in lights, so you’ll be walking down the pet food aisle – and Coles or Woolworths know that your favourite product is Dine – and as you’re standing there, you’re getting a push notification (on your phone) with an offer right for you for Dine,” Professor Mortimer said.

Augmented reality might take a little bit more time to arrive, but when it does, it will look like this: “You look down the phone’s camera at the grocery aisle and offers will pop up – your favourite cereal pops up with an offer just for you.”

A lot of these advancements rely on customers handing over their data via loyalty programs and phones, which is something most customers feel uneasy about.