How AI is revolutionising grocery delivery services
According to Pew Research Centre, a third of American adults (32%) shopped for groceries online during the peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21, a modest jump from previous years.
As more Americans get used to shopping for groceries online, the online grocery delivery industry is evolving and introducing new technology to improve accuracy and efficiency. One such technology, artificial intelligence (AI), is revolutionising the grocery delivery service industry.
You might not know it, but if you've had groceries delivered to your house, you've probably already used AI.
In this article, we provide a detailed dive into how AI is revolutionising grocery delivery services. We also discuss how AI is helping to reduce the cost of groceries and improving customer satisfaction.
Let's get started!
Personalised Promotions and Dynamic Pricing
Everyone likes to feel special and with AI, retailers can now tailor promotions and deals to very specific customer groups.
For example, if an AI system learns that a certain customer enjoys steak, other beef products will show up as a suggested purchase on their online grocery list. As your online grocer gains more insight into your shopping habits, you'll likely see your promotions get more targeted and relevant over time.
Personalised promotions are just one way that AI is impacting the grocery shopping experience. Dynamic pricing has had a significant impact on how supermarkets operate too.
Dynamic pricing takes advantage of customer behaviour using predictive analytics to determine the best price for each item based on demand, sales, and other factors. While this technique is nothing new, AI enables dynamic pricing to be more effective than ever before by combining machine learning with real-time product information.
For example, grocery stores can quickly adjust prices based on supply shortages or spikes in demand using AI algorithms that continuously monitor the changing market conditions. One of the best ways to see this concept in action is purchasing some beef patties once you see some discounted hamburger buns available.
Making Inventory Management Easy
Inventory-related issues can be a pain for customers to bear. Items like out-of-stock items, incorrect labelling, and pricing frustrate customers and discourage them from the online grocery experience.
The good news is that AI can help your online grocer manage their inventory better to reduce these frustrations.
AI can keep track of inventory in real-time to make sure items are well-stocked and there's no risk of running out. AI can empower the use of autonomous grocery robots to scan shelves and ensure that items are priced correctly, as well as to detect any damaged or expired products.
These same robots will also help make smarter deliveries right to your doorstep, a perk we'll discuss in more detail below.
Of course, even if your favourite online grocer has everything you want in stock, there's still the issue of delivery.
For many people, online grocery delivery is a non-starter for these three reasons:
- The quality of the groceries isn't assured- You are scared to receive the wrong items or fragile items might be mishandled.
- You feel like you're too busy to wait around at home for deliveries- You don't want to spend time researching what you need just to have it all delivered.
- The delivery takes longer than it should- sometimes, grocery delivery services arrive hours later than expected due to logistical issues.
An AI-powered grocery delivery service keeps all these issues at bay.
For instance, AI helps personalise the grocery shopping experience based on your needs. The AI system can also ensure that items are packed carefully by grocery-picking robots to minimise touchpoints or damage during transit.
Additionally, the AI system can keep track of your grocery delivery in real-time so you know exactly when to expect it. And if something does go wrong, the AI system will have already flagged it for your online grocer to take care of ASAP.
Creating a Frictionless Shopping Experience
Using AI to innovate the customer experience is a key component of any top online grocer’s strategy today.
While Amazon is a prime example of this concept in action, other retailers can accomplish similar feats without customer data as rich as Amazon's.
Upon logging in, each customer sees an intuitive, personalised home page to serve as an entry point for shopping. Each visitor can see items from their previous orders, similar products, and recommendations based on data gathered through the platform. In fact, AI algorithms regularly pull customer data to make sure that your experience is getting more accurate by the day.
Also, despite the booming popularity of grocery delivery services, many shoppers still prefer to go to the store.
"Virtual stores" are one way that AI can cater to shoppers who want a more tactile online shopping experience.
These platforms use customer purchase histories to power "virtual stores" that are generated by an AI algorithm. This means that each shopper sees different items depending on their personal preferences.
Not only does this system ensure that shoppers aren't being shown products they have no interest in, but it also makes it easier for them to find the products they want—resulting in a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience.
The grocery delivery industry has had its ups and downs in recent years, but with AI-powered services, online grocers can finally come into their own and win customers' trust.
As customers get more comfortable using these services, they're going to want more from grocery delivery companies than just convenience; they'll want a differentiated experience that feels fun and personal—without any of the hassles that exist in the older, traditional delivery model. Don't get left out!