Stor.ai has launched a new picking app to improve efficiency and profitability in grocery fulfillment.
Stor.ai is giving grocers a better way to manage their digital transformation. The end-to-end digital commerce solution company has launched a new picking app to enable its customers to combine multiple picking strategies in fulfilling orders, managing pickers' time more efficiently and improving the customer experience.
Given the rising popularity of online grocery shopping in recent years, a trend significantly expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a seamless and holistic digital shopping experience is now a core business need for food retailers.
With the new app, stor.ai claims that food retailers can now maximize the amount and range of online orders processed over a given time period without increasing costs. This is achieved by reducing pickers' average UPH (units picked per hour) through a suite of smart tools that boost their awareness of item availability and enables them to make real-time decisions informed by data.
"Today's grocers must respond to a pressing industry challenge: processing an ever-increasing percentage of their orders digitally while maintaining profitability," said Orlee Tal, CEO of Israel-based stor.ai, which has its U.S. headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y. "In the face of the rise of third-party e-commerce providers such as Instacart, Shipt and others, the only way for grocers to maintain their independence, brand identities and ability to scale profitably is to develop their own e-commerce strategies capable of competing with these industry giants. The launch of stor.ai's new picking app is a key turning point in equipping grocers with the tools to navigate the inexorable rise of online shopping."
Stor.ai's picking app shows retailer headquarters real-time insights based on a chain's entire set of operations, enabling them to divide up picking between multiple stores and micro-fulfillment centers at peak times. Thanks to a constant supply of situation-based proactive alerts, stores can continually adapt to customer demand, enabling them to grow and adapt according to each store's unique physical conditions and characteristics. This enables grocers to build an e-commerce offering suited to their individual customer base over the long term.
The app also displays a shelf-by-shelf breakdown of item availability. As a result, managers can immediately identify bottlenecks and anticipate delays, increasing UPH ratios to make picking more efficient without compromising on accuracy. For example, stor.ai points out that internal algorithms can detect whether a product is out of stock, so pickers can find replacements in advance without wasting time searching for missing goods, and the app also facilitates easier synchronization across multiple picking zones.
"Stor.ai's new application allows pickers to pick multiple orders at a time, as well as having a batch mode where store is split into zones where pickers can pick in batches," said Mike Karasik, CIO of Brooklyn-based Netcost Market. "As a retailer, we enjoy a much faster pick time on a per-order basis when implementing the batch-and-zone pick strategy. This reduction in picking time generates a huge reduction in our labor costs."
Stor.ai has continually been searching for ways to help grocers respond to online order surges this year. In July, it partnered with retail technology company Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions on creating such solutions.
"This partnership strengthens the stor.ai mission, which is to create customer-first commerce, where consumers have one seamless, personalized digital experience across all platforms," said Tal. "Aligning with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions will help retailers shift towards front end and digital transformation in a simple, convenient and user-oriented manner."