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Mobility, Giving Groceries a Fresh Makeover

By: Randy Evins, Retail Industry Principal at SAP

The grocery industry is experiencing a technology makeover.  Tesco is testing free wifi in stores, allowing customers to use their smartphones to price-compare and search for reviews while shopping. Amazon recently launched the AmazonFreshmobile app in Seattle, serving as another attempt to offer online grocery shopping and delivery.  With SAP solutions, European retailers, Casino Groupe and Coop Switzerland, both added mobile offerings for their shoppers. Casino Groupe launched the successful mCasino iPhone application, allowing customers to prepare online shopping lists that can be recovered in store, to scan products, receive instant coupons for that or related goods, and to checkout while shopping on their mobile phones. All this can be achieved at the Point of Purchase Decision (the shelf edge) versus at the Point of Sale (the register). Coop Switzerland successfully added mobile access through iPhone and iPad to coop@home, the full range online supermarket.  Coop@home enables customers to place online orders via mobile devices and arrange for delivery within 30 minutes. Also,the Coop App is the number one downloaded app in Switzerland. However these are not your typical grocery stores; they are rare examples of companies that have mastered the art of incorporating technology into their business processes.  Therefore, how can the typical grocery chain transition into a “fresher” place to shop?


            By incorporating mobility into your strategy, you can remain competitive in the changing grocery landscape while reaping quick returns on your investment.  Mobility can provide a richer shopping experience and increase loyalty in customers.  Imagine developing a mobile app just once on the Sybase Unwired Platform and having it being automatically deployed to every type of smartphone in the market.  The app will allow all of your customers using various devices to easily use your app to order groceries for pickup, access personalized product offers or to receive recipe ideas.  For customers without a smartphone, grocers can develop a SMS text message campaign through Sybase 365to remind customers when their prescription refill or online order is ready.


            What if boosting in-store productivity is one of your major priorities?  With the Afaria Mobile Device Management Solution, you can boost labor efficiencies through securely adding employees’ phones into your company’s network.  This solution enables you to send text or email notifications to employees when they are needed to attend to the cash registers when checkout lines are long or to check the inventory of a product.


            With the explosion of smartphone and tablet usage in the world, the savvy grocers of the world have identified the advantages of incorporating mobility into their business strategies.  Isn’t it time that you do the same?



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