Erica Twigt

Nowadays, supermarkets are adding new ideas to the shopping experience to prove just how fresh the products are and just how carefully the fresh products are produced for the customer. By also adding technology to the grocery experience, the supermarket is now doing its best to make shopping ‘easier’. But it doesn’t always make life easier.Is technology simply added to show customers ‘how leading-edge the supermarket is’? Or are applications devised by men who can’t identify with how women (80% of shoppers) prefer to do their grocery shopping?

Okay we can live with the fact that, when you walk into the supermarket - your scanner ready in hand – the first section you always come across is fruit and veg, instead of the section that sells the heavy items you want at the bottom of your cart. Women, with their efficiency in packing, are perfectly capable of finding a solution here. But who on earth came up with the idea that I should scan my groceries with my own mobile phone? Instead of using the hand scanner whose plump design makes me prefer to leave it on the cart anyway. Here’s a question for you: Where do I put my phone when I’m weighing my broccoli or selecting the fruit? Do I put it in my pocket every time? Or in my handbag? And what if my phone dies on me while my shopping trolley is still only half full?

In this day and age of the ‘Internet of Things’, is it not possible to convert the hand scanner into a Personal Shop Assistant (PSA) on my shopping cart? So all I’ll to do is log in on the supermarket app with my phone while entering the supermarket, after which the Personal Shopping Assistant can take over from there – and I can pocket my mobile again. My shopping list and personal offers are automatically copied to the PSA, of course automatically ordered according to the shopping route.

And, by the way, I wouldn’t mind at all when entering the fresh section,  a video ‘accidently’ starts on how to prepare a dish I saw the other day on my tablet. After all, it was a recipe of my choice.  What a great idea that after watching the video, all I have to do is simply swipe the ingredients from the recipe straight to the PSA. The fact that it doesn’t yet cross off any ingredients I already have in stock at home, I can live with. By next year I’m sure this can be arranged, not?

Oh, and don’t think we, women, would love the PSA even more if you gave it some fancy boy’s name like Thijs or Daan. Or, even worse, if you’re introduced on the screen to ‘Thijs’, who turns out to be some hunk who we all know never sees the inside of a supermarket. Or, probably our worst nightmare, Thijs welcoming us in a too loud a voice: “Hi Erica, it’s great to see you’re shopping with us today. I haven’t seen you all week! Did you know those diet shakes you always buy are on special right now?” Maybe it’s a matter of taste, but it is possible to exaggerate personalizing the shopping trip!

Dear IT guys: Why not pitch your latest technological invention to your wife or girlfriend? She’s a sure fan of technology that makes grocery shopping easier, and she might even surprise you with some new insights.

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