#Shoptalk18: AR can help customers digest data, says Kroger

Yael Coset, chief digital officer at US grocer Kroger, explained to delegates at Shoptalk 2018 in Las Vegas how augmented reality (AR) could be used to help navigate the customer through the proliferation of data in grocery shopping.

He said the more data about food products becomes available, the more customers have an appetite for it both online and in store – they want to find out more information than just the price, they have questions on the place of origin, whether the product is organic and much more.

“AR will create opportunities to digest the abundance of data,” he said. “Online it’s easy and customers have an unlimited way of accessing the data, in store it’s a lot harder.”

Coset suggested AR should be leveraged, using a shopper’s smartphone, to give them access to curated data. He gave the example of a customer at the fish counter asking the store assistant for advice on how to cook a piece of salmon. Using AR, the shopper could use their smartphone’s camera to gain more information about the product they are interested, including recipes and nutritional information.

“How does it fit into my diet? Not yours, but mine,” said Coset.

Last month, the US supermarket chain made its internally-built ‘Scan, Bag, Go’ self-service retail technology available in 400 stores across North America this year. The roll-out gives consumers an opportunity to use a wireless handheld scanner or their own mobile app to scan and bag products as they shop, before paying at fast checkout lanes.

Users of the technology are able to view and download digital coupons, keep a running total of their order, and view the current week's sales advert, as they navigate the Kroger store. The retailer said consumers will soon be able to pay in the app, which it says will facilitate even quicker grocery shopping experiences.