A Fight Against Amazon
Amazon is a powerhouse. The company has expanded its business throughout a variety of industries, and it's been paying off for the company.
On Monday, January 8th, the company passed Microsoft and took over the top spot for the most valuable company in the world. Amazon is now worth about $810 billion, compared to Microsoft's $790 billion worth.
This recent news, and events leading up to Amazon's takeover of the most valuable company in the world, has Microsoft working to regain that position. And the company is doing that with a new approach. Microsoft will be partnering with one of the largest grocery store chains in America: Kroger.
Kroger and Microsoft are partnering with the hope to take on Amazon and Walmart by creating grocery stores of the future.
Kroger and Microsoft Prepare for the Future in Groceries
Kroger and Microsoft announced their partnership this Monday. They plan to bring digital shelves, price tags, and advertisements to two pilot stores in Washington and Ohio.
These stores are designed to be similar to Amazon's Amazon Go stores. They'll give customers an effortless grocery shopping experience by using technology.
The stores designed by Kroger and Microsoft will help customers and workers navigate the stores and save shoppers' time and ultimately save money. First, a customer will go to a Kroger store with their already created shopping list on Kroger's Scan, Bag, Go self-checkout app. And then, when they're in the store, the app will direct them to the correct aisles.
But that's not all: The technology helps out customers even more. Once the customer is near the aisle they're looking for and they approach the item that they're looking for, a personal avatar — like a banana or an avocado — will light up and direct the customer to the right item. Then, the customer will scan the item to check out. This process continues until the customer's shopping list is complete.
Jason Goldberg, the head of commerce practice at digital agency SapientRazorfish, said:
The notion of Kroger having to figure out what digital looks like in store for a grocery shopper is super important.
Every day, we depend on our tech devices to get us through the day and make our lives easier. So, why wouldn't we expect grocery stores to upgrade the way they conduct their businesses?
Not to mention, switching to digital could have a lot of benefits on saving unnecessary supplies like paper for signage in the store and your receipt, which would have a positive environmental impact, as well.
What Kroger and Microsoft are doing with grocery stores isn't anything new. Amazon has launched its prototype grocery stores that do similar tasks as the Kroger stores. Amazon has even gone beyond and is testing how efficient cashier-less grocery stores are.
Amazon has reported plans to have as many as 3,000 cashier-less Go stores by 2021. This news will definitely light a fire underneath Kroger and Microsoft. And it'll be the incentive that'll bring this new, but old, industry back to life and into the future.
Of course, all this is a learning curve for these companies. But whichever company perfects the system of a fully digitalized grocery store will reap the rewards. Kroger is already a well-known grocery store; its customers value its brand. And when you add in Microsoft's technology to the mix, the endeavor will be game-changing for the grocery store industry.
Until next time,
Pro Trader Today