TECHNOLOGY

Consumers ready for Amazon Go—for the most part

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Many consumers are ready to give cashier-less stores like Amazon Go a spin — but not everyone is sold on technology-driven grocery stores.

The Amazon Go concept, which enables shoppers to launch an app on their mobile device as they enter, take products off store shelves and pay through their smartphone, appeals to 84% of consumers who see this as a more enjoyable shopping experience than a traditional grocery store, according to “Are We Ready for Amazon Go?,” a study from Shorr Packaging Corp.

A majority of shoppers (75%) would either be extremely likely or very likely to shop at an Amazon Go store if one opened close to where they live. Meanwhile, more than 25% would also be willing to pay more for grocery products if it meant they didn’t have to wait in a checkout line.

Despite these benefits, not all consumers are on-board with the new concept — especially Baby Boomers. More than 30% of these shoppers would be somewhat likely or not likely to shop at an Amazon Go store if they lived close by. Meanwhile, 20% of consumers feel like something would be missing from the experience, compared to a traditional grocery store. Almost a quarter of shoppers (24%) said they would miss social interaction, and 12.5% struggle with not being able to pay with cash.

When it comes to deciding where to shop for groceries, customers rank freshness and quality as most important, followed by price and speed of shopping. Availability of brands and location rounded out the list. Overall, 86% people shop at multiple stores to make sure they get the goods and brands they prefer.

What could persuade Baby Boomers to shop at Amazon Go stores are discounts highlighted on product packaging. In fact, 64% of Boomers said discounts on the labels and packaging would encourage them to make a purchase, compared to 57% of all shoppers, the study revealed.

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon killed eight companies’ market value—in one day

BY CSA Staff

Amazon on June 28 made an acquisition and launched a new program — two moves that cost eight companies billions of dollars in market value.

Amazon said Thursday that it would recruit entrepreneurs to run local delivery networks, and it intended to acquire online pharmacy startup PillPack. Both deals sent stocks tumbling, according to CNBC.

Companies that felt the fallout included FedEx and UPS, which lost a combined $3 billion on the delivery announcement. Meanwhile, the PillPack deal erased about $14.5 billion across Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS Health, Rite-Aid, along with drug distributors Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBerg, and McKesson.

To read more, click here.

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TECHNOLOGY

Kroger to test unconventional delivery service

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A supermarket giant is embarking on a new path when it comes to grocery delivery — and its driverless.

Through a partnership with Nuro, the maker of a fully unmanned vehicle, The Kroger Co. will deliver online grocery orders using a fleet of self-driving vehicles. The test, which will be based on Nuro’s hardware and software, is expected to launch in the fall, according to the grocer.

Here’s how it works: Customers place their same-day delivery order through Kroger’s ClickList ordering system and Nuro’s app. Orders will be delivered by Nuro’s fleet of autonomous vehicles.

The program coincides with the company’s Restock Kroger program, which focuses on accelerating the grocer’s commitment to digital and e-commerce efforts.

“As part of Kroger Restock, we have already started to redefine the grocery customer experience and expand the coverage area for our anything, anytime and anywhere offering,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer. “Partnering with Nuro will create customer value by providing Americans access to fast and convenient delivery at a fair price.”

This is only one of Kroger’s plans to bolster its digital offering. On Wednesday, the grocer announced that it has established a separate headquarters for its digital team in downtown Cincinnati. It will house approximately 600 existing Kroger digital associates at first, who are being relocated from another facility. The retailer said it expects to grow its digital team to more than 1,000 over the next three years.

To further evolve its digital business, in May, the company announced an exclusive partnership with British online grocer market Ocado, and acquired online meal-kit company Home Chef. Last week, the chain reported its first quarter digital sales grew by 66%.

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