Technology is helping food retailers better serve lower-income consumers, and the latest example of that comes from a company called Stor.ai.
The Israeli-based digital commerce technology provider for grocers said it has launched a new capability that enables retailers of all sizes to accept and process digital transactions involving food stamps.
As of July 2020, more than 40 million Americans participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a means of supplementing the food budgets of families in need. Most e-commerce providers have typically not accepted food stamps, requiring shoppers to visit stores in-person — which is increasingly seen as a health risk in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for elderly people or other at-risk groups. Thanks to Stor.ai’s latest innovation, grocers can reach out to a wider clientele, including families using food stamps to purchase grocery products when conducting online orders.
“Technology which enables SNAP participants to carry out their regular shopping online is a win-win scenario for grocers and low-income families alike,” said Eli Yeheskel, director of U.S. operations of Stor.ai. “Millions of food-stamps customers will now be able to shop online and pay for groceries using their food-stamps account. Meanwhile, grocers will be able to significantly expand their reach — a real game-changer for smaller community stores.”
Most SNAP payments today are made through EBT (electronic benefit transfer) payment cards. Stor.ai now enables grocers to accept split payments involving multiple payment methods, as well as automatically adding virtual tags to retailers’ online interfaces displaying which items are EBT-eligible.
“I am proud that Stor.ai is at the forefront of another paradigm shift as we work towards accelerating digital transformation within the grocery industry as a whole,” said Orlee Tal, CEO of Stor.ai. “Retailers must embrace technology and digitization in order to maintain and expand their client bases, especially given the growing popularity of online grocery shopping. At Stor.ai, we prioritize our customers to fully understand their needs, and we identified clear demand for tools which enable grocers to cater for recipients of food stamps.”
Stor.ai’s new capabilities form part of a digital ecosystem of solutions that enable grocers to execute and scale their digital transformation. Stor.ai’s flagship offerings include a quick-time-to-market e-commerce solution seamlessly integrated with grocers’ POS systems as well as Stor.ai’s Picker-App, which customizes and maps in-store grocery fulfillment. In 2020 alone, the company has seen 250% year over year growth.