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Inverting the supermarket

Sogeti Labs
May 18, 2015

5 thoughts on “Inverting the supermarket

  1. Sounds like a lovely and more time-efficient trip. However, supermarkets benefit immensely by letting us walk past things we do not need. When passing something, you often think “oh yes, that would be nice” and grab it, even if it wasn’t on your list. Wandering the isles is big business to them? (Let’s say that for me, I bring home about 25% more than was on my grocery list to start with.)

    1. Yes, my point exactly: retails has perfected the trick of seducing us into buying things we didn’t perhaps set out to buy when we left home. My suggestion is to experiment with store-setups where depending on your mood (‘quick, no time’ or ‘Let’s explore’) you can choose a different path, ultimately perhaps even ending up in more business.
      One other thought that crossed my mind though: by now, everybody knows where the milk is, so when you move it, probably people get lost. We may all have been conditioned into a sub-optimal store layout forever! 🙂

  2. Very interesting hypothesis.
    You could partner up with a brand Lidl or Aldi in Germany/EMEA Like a Sam’s club but way more popular.
    When I coordinated an ecommerce study in US, Germany and China for Fossil Group in 2012 (unfortunately ignored for the most part), we found that german shoppers did all of their research in advance and felt that ‘discovery and engagement’ content was just getting in the way. They pretty much just searched and bought. In China this was inverted. The entire shopping process was about discovery and research. They wanted as much info as possible all in one place and would take their business to the store that provided the best one-stop shop (TaoBao is of course the model store for China). Looking abroad you may find cultures that are already in better alignment. The US would just take more convincing and as you mention this adds risk.
    I also wonder if you could make shopping more personalized and relevant, maybe using something like the South Korean virtual shelves and a beacon device. This would allow everyday stores to sell luxury goods and more variety without having to maintain stock or worry about security.

    1. Yes, I think mixing physical and digital is the holy grail for retail today. I’m not sure it’s really something customers are waiting for. Self-scanning helps a lot, as people are already using a device in store. Then again: when autonomous vehicles become a reality, shopping and home-delivery will be upside-down anyway, perhaps then finally only the social/discovery/research part of retail remains.

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