Is Ocado’s Online Grocery Shopping and Delivery Model the Future of Retail?

Plus, Other Smart Technology That Can Help Your Retail Experience

Recent years have already seen leaps and bounds in smart retail technology, but there’s one platform that could revolutionize the Canadian grocery industry.

The Ocado Smart Platform has been called the “Tesla of Grocery” for the potential it creates to change the future of retail.

Based in the United Kingdom, Ocado is a $1.5 billion online grocery shopping and delivery service that delivers 280,000 grocery orders per week to 580,000 active customers. Simple enough, right? But in reality, there’s much more than meets the eye.

Ocado is more than just a retailer. It’s also a technology company and the creator of the Ocade Smart Platform. This is a tool that automates the picking and packing of individual grocery orders in massive warehouses — basically, robots that move at high speeds around aluminum stacks in three-storey grids.

This system could change the game. The robots could take care of:

  • Automated food packing in temperature-specific environments.
  • Advanced customer data analysis and storage that create real-time, readable reports.
  • Improved predictive analytics — imagine pre-populating a customer’s online grocery basket with items they’ll need for their next weekly order.
  • Algorithms at the checkout screen to make product recommendations.
  • Improved demand forecasting, fraud detection, email filtering, delivery route optimizing, and even robotic assistance for repair work.

Here is a video of Ocado in action:

In January, Ocado signed an exclusive deal with Sobey’s in Canada. Similar deals were recently signed with Kroger in the U.S. to build a fleet of 20 robot-powered distribution facilities and with Groupe Casino in France.

In 2017, online grocery sales rose to $12 billion and they are predicted to reach $100 billion by 2024, according to the Food Market Institute and Nielsen. The Sobey’s-Ocado venture of building a customer fulfillment centre in the Greater Toronto Area is expected to take two years to complete.

What do you think — is Ocado’s technology the way of the future? Will other grocery stores adopt similar tools? Will it be able to compete with Amazon? Let us know on social media. Storesupport Canada is on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Whether you use smart technology or not for your grocery retailer, Storesupport Canada can help with your future. We can assist with inventory management, data analysis, and more. Contact us today. Call 1 877 421 5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.

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