By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations - Private Brands, Technology, Food Marketing Institute
A major challenge facing grocery operations professionals today is the sheer number of technologies vying for their attention. Sorting hype from reality can feel like a full-time job. We've identified seven overarching imperatives that focuses on how to fulfill business profitably in grocery ecommerce. In Following the Profitable Path to Your Digitally Engaged Grocery Shoppers: Executive Workbook 2019 and white papers located here, we focus on each imperative and provide you tools and resources to be successful in reaching the digital shopper.
While these resources are a good starting point, it can still be challenging for food retail operations professionals to identify the latest technology that is right for their business. That’s why we are excited to see all the technologies and thought leaders at the second annual Groceryshop conference, taking place Sept. 15-18 at the Venetian in Las Vegas. The event spans a broad array of topics across multiple tracks, including a co-located FMI track. Here are some sessions for operational professionals focused on the digital shopper, or omnishopper.
- Groceryshop has convened an expert panel for a Rapid-Fire Review of 10 technologies transforming operations. Industry leaders from Consumer Insight, the Center for Advancing Retail and Technology (CART) and Better Food Ventures will help the audience understand the impact of some of grocery’s most talked-about technologies—and audience members will get to share their views as well.
- Grocery fulfillment is one area of operations that technology is transforming particularly rapidly. The CEO of Ocado Solutions, the innovative developer of automated fulfillment centers, will deliver a main stage keynote titled Cracking the Big Challenges of Grocery. A complementary track session titled Next-Generation Fulfillment will feature executives from companies including Albertsons and Yummy.com discussing their cutting-edge strategies for upgrading fulfillment to get groceries in the hands of consumers more quickly and efficiently.
- In both stores and warehouses, robots are quickly becoming commonplace. Attendees can see firsthand three of the most cutting-edge use cases for robotics via an immersive, 360-degree experience in the Exhibit Hall. In this Groceryshop Original Content, the Groceryshop team will provide an in-the-field look at how three startups—RightHand Robotics, Takeoff Technologies and Bossa Nova Robotics—are using robotics to tackle distinct operations challenges.
- AI also promises to reinvent many aspects of grocery operations. Groceryshop’s Disruptive Technology track features three examples:
- Shelf Engine, which forecasts demand for perishable goods.
- Scandit, which leverages machine vision and automated barcode scanning to simplify stocking and inventory management.
- EVRYTHNG, which uses AI to help retailers authenticate products and optimize their supply chains.
- Groceryshop will showcase some of the brilliant technology entrepreneurs addressing the challenges of today’s grocery industry. Twenty such founders will be presenting their solutions in Groceryshop’s Emerging Technology Spotlight, a chance for attendees to learn about some of the most innovative grocery and CPG focused startups in the market today. These solutions help companies with problems including:
- Faster item listing (Simplista).
- Grocery-scaled indoor farming (Babylon).
- Making meal kits more economical (Meisterdish).
- Improved warehouse management via human staff (Macondo Ventures).
- Autonomous drones (Gather AI).
- Forward contracts for freight carriage (Leaf Logistics).
I’m excited about Groceryshop—between sessions the FMI team is hosting and the rest of the agenda, it’s going to be a transformational few days for the industry. On Monday, Sept. 16, FMI is supporting the second annual Friends of the Future Reception for retailers immediately following the Groceryshop business session. RSVP to attend here.