'Hyper-Showrooming' and 'Micro-Personalization' Are Coming
Picture this: A grocery store with shifting walls that transforms into a restaurant at night and a farmers market on Saturday mornings.
Sound far-fetched? It could happen by as soon as 2025, according to a new exhibit that seeks to predict food retail trends for the next 10 years. The predictions come from the Food Marketing Institute, which represents food retailers operating nearly 40,000 U.S. stores. The organization debuted the exhibit on Wednesday in Chicago as part of a sprawling trade show that it is hosting this week.
The exhibit was overseen by Tesser, a San Francisco-based brand strategy and design firm. In the video above Tesser CEO Tre Musco talks about the project, whose sponsors include Hershey Co., Coca-Cola Refreshments and American Express.
If the predictions are correct, shoppers could soon encounter the following:
The New Front End: "The frictionless checkout is going to happen," FMI predicts, meaning people will simply walk out after their purchases with payment handled automatically. For brands and retailers this raises important questions, however, like how you replace all those impulse ads and products at the check-out aisle?
Micro-Personalization: Technologies like near field communication and facial recognition will allow retailers to personalize product assortments in real time so they are tailored to a consumer's purchase history.
Lifestyle Consultation: Store employees won't be confined to the check-out aisle. They will become "lifestyle advisors" as they help people shop.
Hyper-Showrooming: Picture a smartphone app that works in conjunction with a wine display. Answer some basic questions on the app about the kind of wine you are looking for and ... voilà! … the bottle that suits your needs will light up on the shelf.
Transforming Stores: Stores will physically change to offer different arrangements and assortments for different times of day, seasons, weather and even traffic patterns.