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Starting the Grocery AI Race : A Beginner's Guide

Updated: 3 days ago

Grocery AI

AI isn't some sci-fi dream anymore. It's real, and it can help your grocery store grow and win customers. Forget robots taking over – AI brings a bunch of tools that make things easier, smoother, and more profitable.


Like with most things, you don’t have to go from beginner to expert in one leap.  There ways to stick your pinky toe in the AI waters before you jump in with wild abandon.  We at Puzl have put together a simple framework for how independent grocers and take a step-by-step approach to adopting AI in their operations.


Start with These Easy Wins


The following are easy-ish first steps to take as you begin your Grocery AI journey:


  • Predict what customers want at what price: AI can determine what people are buying, what's trending, and even how the weather affects things. No more guessing about stocking, so you won't waste money on stuff no one wants. Puzl analyzes historical data and trends for retailers like Price Chopper and Fairway (Wakefern), optimizing pricing, gross margins, and promotional ordering.


  • Offer deals that people actually like: AI can learn who buys what, so you can send personalized coupons and specials that make sense for each customer. It's like having a friendly salesperson in everyone's pocket. Personify helps grocers like Tesco and Marks & Spencer personalize email and app promotions based on individual preferences.

  • Get personal with meal plans: AI learns what people like to eat and suggests recipes based on their preferences and what they have in their pantry. Dinner just got a whole lot easier. Spoon Guru uses AI to create personalized meal plans and recipe recommendations for retailers like Meijer and Safeway.


  • Ditch the phone menus: Are you tired of customers getting stuck on hold? AI-powered chatbots can answer questions, give directions, and even offer recipe suggestions. No more frustration, just smooth sailing.  Boost.ai powers chatbots for Instacart and Sainsbury's, providing 24/7 support and answering customer questions.


Next-Level Tools for Growth


Once you’ve tested the waters, here are some examples of next-level (and next-level expensive) Grocery AI solutions:


  • Self-checkout that doesn't suck: Tired of long lines? AI can let people scan their own groceries, with cameras making sure everything's right. Faster checkout means happier customers. Next-gen self-checkout solution provider Zippin offers AI-powered cashierless checkout solutions used by the likes of Giant Eagle, speeding up the checkout process.


  • Smart shelves that know what's missing: No more manual inventory counts! AI tracks everything, so you always know what needs restocking. Say goodbye to stockouts and hello to happy customers. Trax offers AI-powered inventory management systems used by Tesco and Auchan, automating stock alerts and reordering processes.


  • Robots to stock shelves: Let AI handle the boring stuff so your employees can focus on helping customers. No more running back and forth to fill empty shelves. Simbe Robotics provides autonomous shelf-scanning robots used by Schnucks and Wakefern Food Corp. to improve inventory accuracy and efficiency.


Bonus Round: GroceryAI on the Bleeding Edge


Then there is the truly futuristic tech.  You might not be ready for these solutions yet, but pay attention!  Your competitors certainly are.


  • Shopping with your voice: No more lists or paper! Customers can talk to the store, ask for things, get deals, and even get recipe ideas. Grocery shopping just got magic. Google Assistant powers voice shopping through smart speakers and displays, enabling hands-free grocery ordering in stores like Walmart and Kroger.


  • Delivery drones and driverless cars: Imagine groceries showing up at your customers' doorsteps without anyone driving! AI-powered delivery makes shopping even more convenient, setting you apart from the competition. DroneUp delivers groceries via drones for Kroger and Walgreens, while Nuro's driverless cars deliver for Domino's and Kroger.


  • Stores that change for each customer: Forget one-size-fits-all aisles. AI makes every shopping trip feel personal, with customized displays, music, and even recommendations. It's like having a mini-store for each shopper. AiFi is developing AI-powered stores that personalize displays, music, and promotions based on individual shoppers.


Conclusion


What’s the net-net of all of these seemingly far-out technologies?  It is simply that you shouldn’t (and can’t afford to) be afraid to try AI! It's not scary, and oftentimes, like with Puzl, it's simple. It's about making your store better, happier, and more profitable, while not getting left behind.


So don't wait! Just get started!  Start playing the AI symphony and watch your business grow!


If you would like to know more about how Puzl’s AI can help you drive profitability, please contact us at info@puzl.ai.


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