I recently had to do some grocery shopping for a friend and her family and it ended up being a pretty tedious and lengthy process. Why? Everything had to be organic and her daughter is allergic to dairy. Not to mention the expired potatoes I realized were in my cart when I finally made it to the checkout lane. As I was shopping, I found myself thinking: “Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could follow me around and tell me if there is milk in this bread, these apples are not organic, or these potatoes are expired?” Enter: The Smarter Cart. This thing is pretty cool and I want it in my neighborhood grocery store as soon as possible!
The Smarter Cart is powered by Microsoft Kinect and does some pretty amazing things. Here’s the shortlist: The cart will follow you around the store, help you navigate the aisles, check items off your list as you scan them along the bottom of your cart, monitor for incorrect purchases (i.e. non-organic foods), food allergies, and, yes, expiration dates, and finally, it will check you out right there from your cart! No more pushing shopping carts, while holding your list and trying to figure out what aisle the rice is in, no more taking home baking soda when you needed baking powder, no more expired food, and goodbye lines! Grocery shopping done easy.
Now, as with all new technology, I am sure there are kinks to work out, and not all consumers will embrace it at first, but as soon as they realize how much easier it will make their grocery shopping trips, they will want nothing less. I, for one, hope it shows up in my neighborhood very soon.
Publix was dealing with a challenge many mid-market brands face – being stuck in the “blah” of the middle with no apparent way to get out. Our solution? Leverage every point of contact in a contextually relevant way to build an emotional connection with our shoppers.