Experience the grocery store of the future: agency predicts the Apple Watch’s effect on supermarkets

  • Checkout
  • March 10, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Experience the grocery store of the future: agency predicts the Apple Watch’s effect on supermarkets

Some of the businesses already on board with Apple are Starwood Hotels, which is developing an app for the watch, and Panera Bread, which will allow shoppers to pay for their carbs using the watch.

Creative agency rehabstudio has created an artist’s impression of how the Apple Watch could impact Whole Foods, a supermarket in the US.

Rehabstudio creative partner Tim Rodgers said in a talk PSFK's Future of Retail event in New York that the agency researched the pain points the modern consumer has with grocery shopping.

The company found out the biggest problems consumers had with grocery shopping were the amount of time it takes to shop in a supermarket, not being able to track down what you want and having to queue to buy those items.

The agency predicts the Apple Watch will make the mundane process of wandering down the supermarket aisles an interactive experience - and a preferable option to getting the groceries online.

When a wearer arrives at the doors of the supermarket, the watch will recognise that they’re at Whole Foods.

As they walk through the store, the watch will give personal recommendations about food that’s healthy, what items are available and where they are located.

Push notifications will also help educate the wearer about the items they’re buying, such as where they are sourced from and when they were picked.

Photo: PSFK

At the checkout, the wearer will be able to see an electronic preview of all the products they’re about to buy on the watch. Other product suggestions will be made to encourage the shopper to buy more.

Shoppers can also opt to have their groceries they've selected delivered later that day so they don't have to transport it home.

Photo: PSFK

As shown in the artist’s impressions, rehabstudio predicts the familiar layout of a supermarket will also change.

Pokey aisles will be a thing of the past and open spaces will replace them, with community kitchens and gardens added to the store to make it a hub for food-related activities.

Photo: PSFK

This environment will also encourage customers to learn about and discover new foods, creating an interactive experience.

Rodgers told PSFK the success of in-store grocery shopping will depend on customers engaging with the store and how technology assists that.

“We believe that that in-store retail is going to be less about holding and flogging goods, and more about offering exciting branded experiences,” Rodgers says.

“The technology used to support these experiences, from augmented reality through to beacons, will sink or swim depending on how seamless it is, how personalised it can be, and how much value it can add to the consumer.”

Though these are pretty drastic changes to a well-known retail shop model, the future is already upon us.

The Apple Watch will be available to buy next month on April 24 in countries such as Australia, China, the UK and the US.

The New Zealand release date has not been announced yet.

See Rodgers talk more about their predictions for retail here:

​ ​

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