Kroger, Microsoft Debut ‘Digital Shelves’

Companies are teaming up to bring the ease of online shopping to brick-and-mortar stores.
January 08, 2019

CINCINNATI – Kroger Co. and Microsoft Corp. are using data-rich technology to bring futuristic opportunities to the grocery shopping experience, reports Bloomberg. The news source writes that two Kroger stores have been remodeled to test out the new features, which include “digital shelves” that show ads and change prices in real-time. Additionally, a network of sensors also helps keep track of products and speed up shoppers’ experiences.

Bloomberg notes that Kroger could eventually implement the cloud-based system in all 2,780 supermarkets. The digital shelving system debuted in Fall 2018 and is now functional at 92 end aisles in Kroger locations at the remodeled stores near Kroger and Microsoft’s headquarters.

Kroger’s self-checkout app will guide customers through the store to items on their shopping list. Once they arrive at an appropriate aisle, the digital shelf will display a personalized icon chosen by the shopper—a banana or a pumpkin—below the relevant product.

Other smart shelves help employees pick orders for Kroger’s curbside grocery pickup service, which can cut half the time required to pick each order. Microsoft’s software can also predict a shopper’s demographic data.