We have seen how companies have disrupted with the way we live.
Amazon.com disrupted retail
Uber disrupted driving
Facebook disrupted connecting with people
AIRBNB disrupted the hotel/lodging industry
The internet — disrupting everything.
There are more companies who have disrupted, or who have been disrupted, i.e. Eastman Kodak missing the boat on the digital camera revolution.
I can go on, but it seems to me that disruption has not yet arrived for supermarkets. I mean., — well it has a little with the demand for organic and gluten free products as well as digital coupons and food being delivered to your door. But a total disruption has not yet ocurred. AmazonGo is trying with a supermarket available to its Prime members to walk in the store, pick out what you want and be charged to your account later.
But I believe there is more room to disrupt the industry.
Here are 3 things that could disrupt the supermarket industry.
- Eliminating the middle person (supermarket) with non perishable goods. For example Proctor and Gamble ships Tide products to a supermarket distribution center, where it ships to the supermarket, then you go an buy it. What about eliminating the middle person and ordering from the company itself, i.e. P&G for Tide. Yes, this would be costly, but the consumer can save a ton of money on products as well as build a loyalty program with these mega companies, or with smaller companies too.
- An app that lets you order from your supermarket and then prompts you when the order is ready to pick up. Similar to ordering pizza like Dominos or Papa John, can consumers order what they want in advance and pick it up from their supermarket. The time it can save consumers who are running errands could be enormous.
- The shared economy pervades in various forms providing food and household products. The emergence of community events whether in churches, schools, households, grows thanks to social media and email. It is easier to connect so what would happen if people buy products in bulk and provide to many without going to the supermarket. Or better yet, the supermarkets outreach to the community and partner with organizations, and not just for charitable events but just to feed and educate consumers. Granted, this may not be a visionary thought, but at least someone is thinking about disrupting supermarkets.
I know that the food industry is regulated by the FDA and USDA in the US, but for perishable goods there is a big opportunity as to how we can disrupt the supermarkets. Supermarkets, I hope, are open to big opportunities to be disrupted or else risk falling behind and missing out on providing food to the masses.
As more and more supermarkets pop up the competition is fierce. And with the rise in health issues, pertaining to how we eat, there may also be an opportunity that when we scan our products at the check out, in addition to finding out how the price, that we also get a detailed summary as to the amount of calories, sodium, artificial flavors have been accumulated. We eat when we are hungry but if we knew how much we are eating it might make us pause and think about eating better.
As I think of other ways how the grocery retail industry could be disrupted I will share them with you.
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