Tuned to individual customer needs
Laser-focused demand-sensing technology will combine statistical forecasting algorithms, AI, and internet of things (IoT) devices to make more accurate predictions of demand than current models that rely on historical data. This technology will enable businesses to anticipate and prepare for individual customer purchases, in some cases before the customer is even aware of a need for them. Running out of household essentials and groceries will become a thing of the past.
With permission from the consumer, organizations will be able to convert data from smart homes, browsing history, and in-store behavior into supply chain responses: reordering when stocks get low; making proactive purchasing suggestions when the time is right; and even restocking shelves in the customer's office or home.
Both Walmart and Swedish supermarket group ICA have recently announced plans to deliver groceries directly to their customers' cupboards and fridges, strengthening the relationship between the brand and the consumer. In the future, food and drink products could be automatically ordered and delivered, triggered by the consumer removing an item from their shelf and sensors sending that signal back to the supply brain.
Retailers will also tap into personal data to elevate the customer experience. Microsoft and Kroger are piloting connected experience stores focused on driving personalization. Smart shelves in stores indicate price, promotions, and nutritional data. Customers use an app to create a shopping list in advance, which synchronizes with the in-store smart shelves to guide and inspire them as they move through the store. The result is a personalized experience for each customer that deepens connections with manufacturers and retailers.