Will smart carts help supermarkets thrive?
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way many people shop for clothing, household items, and even food. At the start of the epidemic – and during times of increasing cases – many people were afraid to walk into a grocery store. Instead, they started ordering groceries online and picking up their purchases from the sidewalk or having them delivered to their homes.
Now that things have improved on the pandemic front and coronavirus vaccines are making many more people comfortable with the idea of shopping in stores, we could see a return to shopping in no one at the supermarket. But some stores can look a little different – in a positive way.
Buyers, get ready for smart carts
Most supermarkets have yet to invest in smart baskets, but some, like Kroger, are already testing them. Smart carts are designed to scan and track purchases using sensors, cameras and other technologies. And they can benefit customers in several ways.
First, they are extremely practical. Rather than having to search for a store associate to check prices or find a price check kiosk, customers can simply scan unmarked or ambiguously marked grocery items to see how much they cost. Plus, smart carts often eliminate the need to queue in a checkout aisle. Rather, these carts are equipped to accept credit card payments or charge for food purchases to user accounts.
Smart carts are also great for social distancing. Customers who use these carts can avoid having to approach other buyers while they wait to pay for their goods. And, they can even lead to better budgeting by giving customers a financial tally of their purchases as they walk down the aisles.
Will smart carts take over?
Of course, smart carts aren’t inexpensive to implement, so they’re unlikely to become the norm anytime soon. But over time, supermarkets may choose to adopt these shopping carts in an effort to attract consumers.
Consumers who shop for groceries online are less likely to experience impulse buying than those who shop in-store and see seasonal or promotional items displayed in front of them. As such, it is often advantageous for supermarkets for people to visit them in person. Smart carts could, along with coronavirus vaccines, make consumers much more comfortable with the idea of shopping in person – especially if they are able to mimic the convenience of ordering food online .
A positive turn for real estate investors
While many people are now used to shopping for food online, there are downsides: getting stuck with products that aren’t the freshest or having dull products as substitutes. If smart carts really take off, it could help supermarkets thrive, and that in turn would be a great thing for real estate investors.
Grocery stores generally serve as key tenants for shopping malls. Giving customers a reason to keep hanging out only works to the benefit of real estate investors, especially at a time when the future of retail is risky and malls need all the paying tenants they need. ‘they can get.