How supermarkets are making grocery shopping more of an experience

In an age where time-pressed people are shopping from the comfort of their sofas more than ever, supermarkets need to step up their game.

And step up their game they certainly are. Grocery stores around Australia are already introducing new measures to make food shopping more of an experience.

From picking your own ‘living lettuce’ from a greenhouse at the supermarket to stores using micro-location technology and personal shopping assistants, here FEMAIL takes a look at the futuristic developments happening in Australian retail.

FEMAIL takes a look at the futuristic developments afoot in Australian retail supermarkets (pictured: Woolworths)

In the Living Lettuce Corner (pictured), customers can choose their own ‘living lettuce’ from a hydroponic growing setup – and the lettuce keeps growing until you put it in you trolley

NEXT GEN IN STORE FARMING

Earlier this year, Woolworths unveiled their state-of-the-art Marrickville store in Sydney, where customers can enjoy a whole host of new ways to shop.

Top of their list is their Living Lettuce Corner, where customers can choose their own ‘living lettuce’ from a hydroponic growing setup – and the lettuce keeps growing until you put it in your trolley.

Elsewhere, you can visit the Cheese Cave – where you can shop from over 200 cheeses and olives.

At the store, you can also watch artisan bakers and sushi chefs at work – or buy a flame-roasted chicken, which is stuffed, marinated and cooked in front of you in store.

Woolworths Supermarket Managing Director, Claire Peters, said: ‘Our teams have spent a great deal of time understanding how our customers like to shop, looked across the globe for inspiration and designed the store with the local customer at the forefront to create this next generation grocery shopping experience.

‘Every possible angle and aisle in this process has been revisited and the result is a rustic yet future-proof design with a real community spirit.’

At Woolworths, you can also get ‘ready to create’ bags, which offer meal kit convenience for customers who want to cook great recipes from scratch without the hassle of shopping for all of the ingredients.

At the Woolworths store in Marrickville, you can also watch artisan bakers (pictured) and sushi chefs at work

At Woolworths, you can also get ‘ready to create’ bags, which offer meal kit convenience for customers who want to cook great recipes from scratch without the hassle of shopping for all of the ingredients

HELPING HAND

We all know that shopping for food can be a nightmare. From busy supermarkets to heavy shopping bags, what if things could be made slightly more seamless?

They can. Dan Murphy’s has recently rolled out a new format in several stores around the country, which features micro-location technology in order to help you pick up your alcohol more easily.

The Dan Murphy’s app sends a push notification to tell customers when their order is ready, and the customer can then use the app to let them know they are close.

A member of Dan Murphy’s staff will then meet that person with their order at the door:

‘Time is increasingly an Australian household’s most important currency, so we have reinvented our online order and collection system from the ground up to create a seamless and ultra convenient shopping experience for our customers,’ Dan Murphy’s General Manager, Mr Campbell Stott, said.

‘Customers are in charge of their shopping trip and are able to alert us to when they are getting close to the store, so our team can have the order ready on arrival.’

Coles have also introduced an app, the Cole App, which is designed to be a ‘personal shopping assistant to help customers plan their shop’.

‘It helps our shoppers to build their shopping list faster from home by scanning the products in their cupboard,’ a spokesperson said.

‘The shopping list is sorted by aisle numbers, making it easier and quicker for customers to navigate around their local store.

Customers can also share their shopping list by email or SMS, so if they’re sending their loved ones to do the shopping, we’ve made it easy to never forget an item again.

‘One of the functions our customers love is the “Watching” feature, which alerts them when their favourite products are on special. We want to help our customers plan their shop so its most cost-effective for them and this feature allows them “watch” their favourite products and buy them for less.

‘The most watched items are bananas, raspberries, Frozen Roast Potatoes, AA Batteries and Frozen Onion Rings.’

Dan Murphy’s (pictured) recently rolled out a new format in several stores around the country, which features micro-location technology in order to help you pick up your alcohol more easily

On site sushi chefs and artisan bakers are there to cater to all of your needs (pictured: Coles)

DARK STORES

Elsewhere, to fight the likes of Amazon, Coles and Woolworths are opening up a number of ‘dark stores’ – whereby there are no customers, just employees picking online orders from the shelves in order to get people their orders as quickly as possible.

Coles have also introduced a ‘quiet hour’ in many of their supermarkets, where lights are dimmed by 50 per cent, music is turned off and scanner volumes are lowered.

This initiative was brought about from a partnership with Autism Spectrum Australia, and has been designed to help people who experience sensory overload and distress in busy stores.

‘At Coles, we are always looking at ways we can meet the differing needs of our customers by creating a shopping environment in which our customers and team members feel comfortable,’ a spokesperson said.

‘Following the success of the trial [in two stores], we worked closely with Aspect to identify areas where residents would benefit from Quiet Hour and based on community feedback, Coles introduced Quiet Hour an additional 68 stores across Australia from Tuesday, 21 November 2017.’

Other supermarkets are embracing soft lighting and neutral tones in a bid to win over shoppers to their stores – Coles has also introduced a ‘quiet hour’ free from music and noise

Last but not least, Aldi (pictured) is moving with the times and transforming some of their stores so that the supermarket shop is more of an experience

DESIGN LED FEATURES

Last but not least, Aldi is moving with the times and transforming some of their stores so that the supermarket shop is more of an experience.

Gone are the yellow tiles, peacock blue walls and brown panelling. Instead, think soft lighting, neutral tones, quirky captions and more space to navigate the aisles.

‘So many customers ask us how we have been able to make our stores bigger,’ Aldi Project Director, Ben, said.

‘We haven’t increased the floor space at all, we have just been smarter about the layout.’

 

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