As grocers look to digitize stores, many are considering smart technology to provide shoppers with more information about products on shelves.
The PYMNTS Intelligence survey “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization,” created in collaboration with ACI Worldwide, drew from a review of 300 retailers across the United States and the United Kingdom. It indicated that 32% of grocers think consumers would be very or extremely likely to switch merchants if not given access to digital price tags or smart shelf tags.
The demand creates an opportunity for businesses that can provide this technology for grocers, ranging from third-party aggregators to wholesalers.
Grocery technology giant Instacart, for its part, launched tags that integrate with electronic shelf labels last year as part of its Connected Stores bundle to enable consumers to find items in stores and to check dietary information as well as learn whether or not a given product is eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments.
The company noted in its Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August that these tags are part of its efforts to “enhance the brick-and-mortar experience, where approximately 90% of shopping takes place, and help retailers invent the store of the future.”
It is not only tech providers looking to meet this demand. Wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), which delivers to more than 30,000 locations, announced last October the launch of its own Smart Shelf Tags, enabling grocers to put up QR codes with products that allow consumers to access more information.
“UNFI is excited to enable better transparency and communication between our suppliers, retailers and shoppers,” John Raiche, executive vice president of supplier services and merchandising at the wholesaler, said in a statement. “Consumers have shown that they care about the values and beliefs of the brands they purchase, and with Smart Shelf Tags, suppliers can communicate directly with shoppers about their products and tell the stories behind their brands.”