Elizabeth uploaded her grocer list with a tap while walking into the shop. The voice welcomed her and a big arrow on the glasses screen suggested her the right path into the store. She checked prices and made price comparisons, just in front of her eyes. Then she opted for a nice recipe for dinner and asked the glasses all the ingredients. She stopped in front of a shelf with several brands of biscuits and asked glasses to tell her what was the social sentiment about those products right now and the screen returned her a scoring of “customer appreciation” calculated via a complex alghorithm scanning the main social networks. Trendy choice.
She then moved in front of the vegetables soups and asked glasses to identify the most healty product; a red heart blinked right in front of the best product. A retailer sponsored message appeared on the screen: “why don’t you take two? they would be perfect in the cold winter season and expire in some weeks”. Convincing. She took two, but healthy choice definitely.
Now it was the time of the italian pasta, but before taking her favourite brand she asked for the product with lowest carbon emissions. A green bullet started to blink on the screen just in front of a specific brand. That was worth double points. Environmental choice.
Then she moved in the wine area. The bottle close to her favourite Tuscany Chianti appeared with a purple halo. A one minute offer. 30% off but just 60 seconds to get it from the shelf. That kind of thing that send her into a mini shopping crisis. 30% is great, but Chianti is Chianti, so for this time, she discarded the offer and moved ahead. Anyway 10 loyalty points on her favourite wine was not that bad.
Big retail chains around the world are pushing their innovation labs to include glasses and wearables as part of the shopping experience. Youtube is providing some amazing demos, I selected 3 (Tesco, a video from the Mars Agency and ConAgra Foods). But the point is not the glasses, is the engine behind them. When it will be developped, it will entirely change the way grocers make promotions today. In the last 10/15 years the number of product in promotion and the percentages of discounts exploded (and the margins of grocers decreased); this educated a new generation of shoppers who care less about the grocer brand and even less about the brands of the CPGs (consumer packaged goods). In addition to it, savage discounts undermined the value of the loyalty programs creating a sort of internal competition between different forms of promotion. I believe that a combination of big data analytics, loyalty and wearables can contribute to restore profitability for the retailers, improve the shopping experience for the consumer and bring him/her new value thanks to targeted offers really valuable for that person at that moment.
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