How consumers shop is changing, and supermarkets have to ensure that they’re offering the technology those consumers want. At Florida, N.Y.-based ShopRite Supermarkets (SRS), which operates 35 stores, that includes the ability to shop from home, using an app or in-store kiosk to place deli orders or use another app to scan items as they shop.
In its newest store, ShopRite of North Greenbush, along with seven other locations, SRS offers Mobile Scan, an app that allows shoppers to scan items as they shop, and then pay. To use, customers log onto the store’s WiFi, scan the items they want with the app, and then go through the self-checkout by using their loyalty card to pull up their order and pay by whatever method they choose.
The Mobile Scan required training of both staff and customers. The stores did a lot of in-person outreach to let customers know that the app was available, which included a table set up with information, and the staff even would walk through the store with customers to show them how to use the app.
“Yes, there was a lot of hand-holding, but the rewards on the backside have been very nice,” says Jim Shivers, director of retail technology.
On the staff side, associates had to learn both the customer-facing function and the back end of the app. They had be aware of some of the common mistakes customers may make, such as whether they’re using the store’s WiFi.
For customers who might not have time to walk through the store, SRS also offers Shop From Home, an ecommerce website. Not all of its stores offer the pickup option, but the company’s entire market area is covered by a store, so if the customer’s local store doesn’t offer pickup, they can get delivery from another SRS location.
“We have Shop From Home to meet the need of every one of our consumers, whether they’re time-starved or homebound,” notes Sarada Bernstein, manager of community affairs and public relations, “or we have all the avenues for the fast-paced customer to the customer who wants to take their time and enjoy the service we provide at ShopRite.”