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Independent Grocers Consider AI

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Today, independent grocers are using tools that harness big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to battle retail giants like Walmart and Amazon, reports Forbes.

Despite a push for ecommerce, 78.3 percent of customers have shopped in a physical store in the past 30 days, according to a survey from Prosper Insights & Analytics with 32.6 percent of respondents opting to shop closer to home because of increased prices. The report noted that these insights provide an opportunity for independent grocers who likely serve as their community go-to. As shoppers are already entering their stores, technological advancements can further facilitate the grocer-retailer connection, said Forbes.

Alasdair James, chief commercial officer at technology solutions firm Swiftly, explained how independent grocers’ unique position in the marketplace presents an opportunity to streamline processes with technology.

“They're not just retailers; they’re at the heart of their communities, generating significant amounts of purchase data daily. Unlike the big chains, many of these local stores haven’t fully tapped into the potential of this data,” said James. “Technological advancements in AI and ML are enabling independents to develop insights from their data, allowing them to provide more engaging and relevant content to their customers. This helps them compete with larger competitors and retail media networks for their customers' attention.”

The research backs up James' finding, in a recent Forrester-commissioned study, 41 percent of retailers said that AI and ML’s direct impact on customer experience is a top driver for investing in the technology. The report added that these advancements allow retailers to connect with shoppers at multiple touchpoints and improve the shopping experience overall. Full Story