CNBC has a piece about "omnichannel strategy, integration of offline or in-store sales with online orders and logistics. It’s a concept that originated in China in 2016 when founder Jack Ma of e-commerce giant Alibaba coined the term 'New Retail' and proceeded to open 300 high-tech Freshippo-branded supermarkets in 27 Chinese cities."
This strategy, experts say, is one that has been adopted must aggressively in the US by Kroger, which has linked "together shopping, e-commerce and logistics: automated fulfillment centers bag groceries; vans make same-day deliveries to households; data analytics provide an early read on customer trends; mobile apps distribute customer promotions and coupons; on-premise 'ghost kitchens' prepare meals for in-store pickup or van delivery; QR codes handle payments online at self check-outs; and large online fulfillment centers and warehouses rely on robots for packing, sorting and loading orders.
"New automated fulfillment centers are a critical part of the technology effort. These centers use AI and robotics to replace labor-intensive work of sorting and bagging groceries for delivery, while on-site employees handle such operations as engineering and inventory management."
And it isn't just Kroger: "Competitors Walmart and Target are spending heavily, even in a slowing economy, and with technology a focus among current capex investments."
You can read the entire story here.
- KC's View:
Yael Cosset, senior vice president and chief information officer at Kroger, is exactly right when he tells CNBC, “You just can’t be a 1990s grocer. You have to be courageous, break things, and quickly adapt."
Breaking things. I think that's a really good manta going forward.
In fact, I'll make a prediction. Five years from now, if you talk to people like Cosset who are in the innovation business, they'll say that it ends up that they didn't break enough things during this period of history. That's not in any way a criticism - just an acknowledgment that in the end, progress always happens fast than we think and that, in fact, there is no such thing as "in the end."