Why do we need supermarkets

The supermarket of the future - this is how we shop in 2050!

Digitization is making great strides - all areas of life have been affected. Whether we drive or shop, digital technology is shaping ever larger areas of our everyday life. Time seems to have stood still only in the supermarket. But the impression is wrong. The first steps towards digitization have long been introduced in the food retail sector. The development is expected to continue at a rapid pace. It is to be expected that in 2050 the supermarket will look and function differently in many ways than the supermarket that we know from our present.

The supermarket in 2050

The good news first: there will still be supermarkets in 2050. In contrast to clothing, books and other products, which are already being sold to an ever greater extent over the Internet, the Internet trade with food is only slowly gaining momentum. When shopping for groceries, many people do not want to do without the local retail store. Daily shopping is especially important for older people, so they can maintain social contacts. This role of supermarkets as meeting places will be strengthened over the next few years. The first supermarkets are already offering a café or lounge. This could be a matter of course in 2050, so that shopping in the supermarket is no longer just about supplying food and other products, but becomes an experience in itself.

Technology takes over a large part of the shopping

Today, when shopping in the supermarket, customers go through long rows of shelves and select their goods. In all probability, this basic principle will not change significantly. At the same time, technology will develop into a helper for people. For example, robots can help pack the products. A supermarket was presented at EXPO Milan in 2015 in which so-called "YuMi" robots from ABB packed apples. It can be assumed that this technology will continue to develop until 2050.

It is also conceivable that other systems with so-called drop-off scanners will establish themselves. The customer selects the products and places them in one of these drop-off scanners, which are distributed throughout the supermarket. From there, the goods are transported to a mezzanine floor of the supermarket and packed for the customer. If desired, the goods can finally be delivered at home.

No more queues

If the development continues as it is already becoming apparent, there may be no more queues at the cash registers in the supermarket in 2050. It can even be assumed that the cash register will disappear entirely. Because the time-consuming payment methods of today will be replaced by fast alternatives. For example, it is conceivable that the purchase process takes place automatically via a mini chip when the goods are placed in the shopping cart. When the customer leaves the store, the outstanding amount is easily debited from the account.

Amazon Go - first supermarket without cash registers

The online company Amazon opened the third Amazon Go store in America in 2018. Here the customer has the opportunity to go shopping without a cash register or cashier. The computer vision technology and various sensors and cameras ensure a unique shopping experience without long lines. In order to be able to shop in such a shop, users must identify themselves when entering the supermarket with their Amazon Go app using a QR code. The purchases are automatically debited to the Amazon customer account as soon as the customer leaves the supermarket.

Transparent and healthy

You can regularly hear and read it in the news: The consumer advocates of today criticize inadequate labeling of food, so that the customer cannot find out about ingredients. Anyone who suffers from allergies or simply wants to avoid sugar, glutamate or other substances for health reasons has to spend a lot of time today to get the information. It is conceivable that the supermarket will be much more transparent in 2050. In 2050, information on ingredients and ecological footprints will probably be available on your own smartphone or on special terminals in the supermarket. The customer can thus get a very precise and comprehensive picture of the products that are offered in the supermarket while shopping.

More digital technologies of the future

Indoor positioning system

With the help of the Indoor Positioning System (IPS), customers can be guided through the shop using a smartphone app and coded light. Before the customer is shown the optimal route through the supermarket, he must enter his shopping requirements. The app can then determine the customer's position and use light signals that the human eye cannot perceive to navigate them to the desired product.

Digital signage and touch screens

More and more shops, including supermarkets, are using large screens for special offers and production information. The digital advertisements increase the length of stay and the probability of spontaneous and impulse purchases increases. You can find out more about digital signage here.

Touchscreens directly on the shopping cart are intended to serve as intelligent shopping aids. The "Personal Shopping Assistant" (PSA) shows the customer the way to the department and product they are looking for. In addition, the touchscreens offer extensive information on individual products and special offers.