Retail

Albertsons Turns To AI Tech For Grocery Orders

Albertsons Turns to AI Tech for Grocery Orders

To assemble baskets of products for delivery orders, Albertsons is teaming up with Takeoff Technologies for a trial partnership. Through the arrangement, the process will be handled by technology in lieu of staff, CNBC reported.

With the pilot, Albertsons plans to stock products that shoppers like for online orders in selected areas. Technology enabled by artificial intelligence (AI), along with conveyors, can transport items to a store employee for order completion.

Traditionally, an Albertsons staff member manually picks and packs items for delivery orders – but that is not the best process, as stores are designed for customers' shopping patterns, not for efficiency of completing a basket.

Companies such as Takeoff Technologies provide an automated packing solution to help grocers process orders more efficiently. In partnering with supermarket chains, the company takes up only a small sliver of a brick-and-mortar location – about one-eighth of the space. In that area, Takeoff installs a beehive of sorts, where robots fetch products like breakfast cereals and shampoo. For more delicate items, such as lettuce, a staff member fills that part of the order. When a customer’s order is ready, it can be picked up at a drive-thru window.

Applications of the technology are not limited to supermarkets. While Takeoff Technologies uses extra space in a grocery store, its automated micro-fulfillment centers can also work out of pharmacies, convenience stores and quick-service restaurants (QSRs), as these are locations close to where shoppers live or work.

In addition, these locations could also double as pick-up stations, enabled with grocery lockers for easy access. When it comes to the user interface, grocery retailers can either use their own developed user app or opt to use Takeoff’s app, which offers both credit cards and mobile wallets as payment options.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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