ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Online revenue from U.S. grocery e-commerce is expected to be about $20 billion this year and grow more than 18% annually
as reported by emarketer. So what will the grocery store of the future look like? Here are three characteristics predicted by Forbes
- Reduction in center aisle products: Americans who order online may not trust shoppers to pick the perfect avocado, but they will trust them to choose a can of beans and box of mac-and-cheese. Those center-store grocery products that are in tins, boxes or pre-packaged are predictable—so more Americans will be inclined to click-and-order, since they know the products will meet expectations. As a result, stores will likely shrink the square footage devoted to these products.
- Micro-fulfillment: Speed and convenience are the differentiating factors when consumers choose a retailer or e-commerce provider these days. Amazon has set the bar high with same-day shipping. In response, retailers will look at hyperlocal micro-fulfillment, instead of centralized fulfillment to get consumers their orders fast.
- Checkout-free retail: Amazon Go’s checkout-free process has prompted Sam’s Club, 7-Eleven, Giant Eagle and Tesco overseas to implement the same solution. Some are mobile scan-and-go; others are a hybrid approach. But as people spend less time shopping, retailers will do what they can to make the experience as convenient as possible.
, an author and forecaster at Forbes, writes that we need “to look at this future view of the world, not as conjecture, but as fact, and to open up one’s mind to the new opportunities it affords.”