By Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations - Private Brands, Technology, FMI
technology leveraging data

January is technology season with a series of back-to-back events focused on the latest gadgets and gizmos. While reading about new technologies, it’s easy to begin to wonder how they will apply to your shoppers and your business model. Here are some insights from the January-tech craze to consider:

Leveraging Consumer Technologies

Covering CES 2020, Laura Heller writes in Forbes about 5 Top Tech Trends for Retail From CES 2020 and outlines technologies sure to impact retail, including:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
  • Autonomous checkout.
  • Image search.
  • Monetizing data.
  • Logistics innovation.

One device premiered at the show called Julia had me really scratching my head. The smart cooker that even washes itself has a lot of applications for food retailers and suppliers helping shoppers. From taking meal kits to the next level to re-inventing cooking, there are numerous applications to leverage this new technology for grocery shoppers should it become a staple of American kitchens.  

Technologies Changing Retail Business Models

This week at NRF 2020, I’m seeing impressive applications of real-time consumer data and predictive analytic models powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). For example, FMI Associate member SAP showcased the blend of master marketing, omnichannel fulfillment from the store, category management and the overall consumer experience. Their online demo, personalized by upfront questions, provides an overview of how technology is supporting changing business models by reducing supply chain costs.

Technologies Leveraging Data

Machine learning (ML) and AI have proven themselves capable of supporting demand forecasting and are being used increasingly for recommending products, customizing pricing and promotional decisions. At the upcoming FMItech@Midwinter, we have a host of Tech Talks that showcase ML and AI from all angles including promotions, forecasting, supply chain, food waste and customer experience.

Smart supermarkets are already leveraging new technologies to do business more efficiently and effectively. 2020 is sure to bring more announcements of food retailers and suppliers leveraging technology—will you be one of them?