By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations, Food Marketing Institute

It’s reported that Ocado owns the globe’s densest wireless network. They are a traditional pure-play in online food retail, but many of their practices may seem – other worldly.

The company is investing in machine learning, literally feeding its computers every customer email for 15 years; it is considering self-learning trucks that predict traffic patterns and road conditions; and even leveraging robotics that interface with the customer upon delivery. The food retailer is certainly looking to drive greater efficiencies with technology, but it hasn’t lost track of its focus on the customer.

Tim Steiner, co-founder and CEO of the UK-based retailer, attributes Ocado’s success to understanding the online shopper, as he says, “they like to shop with us whenever, wherever, which is what digital engagement allows us to do.”

In a video interview with FMI at this year’s Grocerytalk, a program track within the ecommerce show Shoptalk, Steiner shares strategies and a vision for the future of food retail – in moving from an evolution to a revolution.

FMI presents a series of interviews on ecommerce and the digitally engaged customer. Follow the conversation via #grocerytalk. Assess your digital readiness by visiting