How Grocers Can Enhance Their Digital Capabilities to Compete with Technology & Retail Giants

By Alex Goodwin

June 20, 2017

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods for a reported $13.7b marks the beginning of a new era in grocery technology. It remains to be seen how Amazon will leverage its global supply chain, tech infrastructure, and financial resources within Whole Foods stores. However, given Amazon’s history of bold moves that have transformed broad segments of the retail industry, it’s clear that grocers must act quickly to put the tools in place that will allow them to develop their own platforms for innovation.

Aila Technologies is uniquely positioned to assist grocers in this transition. Leading companies in the grocery industry have already been adopting Aila’s iPad-based Interactive Kiosk as a way to increase operational efficiency, while also enhancing the customer experience.

Deli ordering kiosks cut lines and boost sales

One example of this is the deli ordering system that has been installed in a number of stores in a leading US grocer. Rather than taking a number and waiting around for the deli attendant to place an order, customers are able to place their deli orders through an intuitive, well-marked self-service kiosk. They can then resume their shopping, and circle back a few minutes later to pick up their order.  


While this is an excellent use of this sleek, web-enabled device, it barely scratches the surface of its immense capabilities. Interactive Kiosks placed throughout a store provide the backbone of an infrastructure capable of meeting an array of current demands, including ordering systems, price checking, loyalty programs, wayfinding, providing detailed product info, and so on.

Future-proofing grocery technology

Yet, with industry-leading scanning functionality on top of the versatility and connectivity of cutting-edge iOS devices, this infrastructure is also built with the future in mind—it will be capable of adapting to future innovations and trends as they arise.

Just as grocers are always looking to optimize efficiency and save costs wherever possible, customers are also expecting more and more out of their retail experience; retailers must implement an infrastructure that can deliver on both fronts. More than the bulky single-function technology solutions of the past, modern infrastructure should be comprised of powerful, nimble connected devices that can work seamlessly with the technologies of the future. And just as importantly, they should provide an excellent customer experience.

With a familiar touchscreen interface and built-in image-based scanner, Aila’s Interactive Kiosks and handheld Mobile Imager have been designed to serve as the core of this next-generation infrastructure.

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