The supermarket of the future: Changes that’ll transform how we shop 39



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Over the years, click and collect, PayPass, self checkouts and online shopping have transformed our supermarket experience, but when you see what’s in store in the next few years, these ideas pale in comparison.

Imagine using a smart phone to navigate your entire supermarket experience. You could use 3D virtual reality in your own home or at work to purchase items and they’ll arrive at your door step. This is the future in five years, according to Steve Sowden, the managing director of the Australian arm of international retail creative firm Intermarketing Agency.

Sowden said the Aussie shopping experience lags behind Europe and America. Already, European retailers are using Oculus Rift, a very advanced form of virtual reality glasses which will soon become normal. He said we’ll go into a store (real or virtually) and pick out items we like then go home to it delivered at our door. This means you can buy multiple products and don’t need to do any of the packing or carrying.

We’ve already started seen more ‘concept’ stores roll out across the country, which have changed the supermarket format. Gone are the days of having a supermarket just for your groceries and nothing else, some concept stories have a bakery, sushi station, cafe, deli (and not the usually meat and chicken one), plus rows and rows of prepackaged fresh lunches. They’re for the younger shopper who does smaller shops rather than one big one like us oldies are used to.

But imagine a grocery store where you could have personal recommendations when you arrive, with meal plans set out for you. You place all of your groceries on a scanner at once and in seconds everything is put through. Then you don’t even need to open your wallet – your card is charged automatically. This is only a mere few years away.

If we go even future into the future, when all of us are gone and our grandchildren are the seniors, supermarkets will be a shadow of what they were.

A pop-up grocery store exhibit in New York, called The Future Market, looks at what grocery shopping will have evolved into in 2065.

The designers envision customers walking into the store with a digital food ID that tells the store your allergies, food preferences, and dietary needs. Then you might shop on a touch-screen shelf that automatically delivers your order—possibly picking fresh vegetables from an in-store hydroponic farm on the way.

The Food Marketing Institute revealed their predictions for supermarkets in 2025:

Automatic payment: The frictionless checkout will allow people to simply walk out after their purchases with payment handled automatically.

Micro-personalisation: Technologies like near field communication and facial recognition will allow retailers to personalise product assortments in real time so they are tailored to a consumer’s purchase history.

Lifestyle consultation: Store employees won’t be confined to the check-out – they will become “lifestyle advisors” and help you shop.

Hyper-showrooming: A smartphone app that works in conjunction with a display. Answer some basic questions about the kind of product you’re looking for and the item that suits your needs will light up on the shelf.

Transforming stores: Stores will physically change to offer different arrangements and assortments for different times of day, seasons, weather and even traffic patterns.


Tell us, are you open to a whole new supermarket experience? Or do you like them the way they are? 




Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I’m a shop daily person. I live 5 minutes walk from Aldi in the Uk. In Australia I preferred Coles over Woolies, and also tended to shop daily. I am not a fan of click and collect or online shopping. Ideally I’ll be living in Greece in a year so will shop at markets, daily there.

  2. I hate the whole self serve etc. I have a bad back and it’s hard enough with the shelving…l always go to a manned checkout. There are also not enough floor staff! Think ofthe elderly and disabled…my daughter has a baby so she orders on line…only problem is the produce picked isn’t as good as picking your own. Am thinking of going to IGA.
    It will be different with virtual shopping etc….l miss the shopping centre being a place you catch up!

    2 REPLY
    • I’ve never found the quality from ordering on line any less than what I’d pick myself, I love this service.

    • Must be different supermarkets. daughter says it’s ok but it could be better quality. ..however she is grateful for the service 🙂

  3. Anything that gets me in & out as fast as possible, manned checkout, self serve, on line, I use them all & anything better that comes along I’m up for, better things to do than waste time grocery shopping.

  4. my daughter broke her leg and her son went to woolies for her, armed with her phone and the woolies apt. he is 10.

  5. I already shop on-line with Coles and it is an amazing service, I only handle my shopping once which is when I put it away because it is delivered right onto my kitchen bench I then pay by EFT although there are some little problems from time to time because I have chosen not to accept substitutes when not in stock because I’m fussy however the positives far out way the negatives, I would recommend it to anyone and especially to anyone who like myself may have health issues and find it difficult to shop.

  6. I use IGA, independent, much more variety and local. Also now that I am trying to buy no processed foods the need for a supermarket has reduced. Don’t like Aldi at all. Even less service than the big two!

    1 REPLY
    • I love my Foodlands too. very fresh, lovely meats, fish, del, everything… the chicken is good too where I go… I am like you cut down on what processed foor I did have by 3/4 these days.

  7. I’m delighted to shop on line ,Coles deliver right to my kitchen , never a problem ,Then I can buy other shopping that’s lighter to carry and makes going across to the mall a pleasure and not a chore

  8. Can’t wait till 2065 to experience some of these things, I do hope they’ll cater to the needs of the 112 year olds of the day, like I’ll be in that year… Well Joe Hockey said people will live to 150, we all know serial politicians always tell the truth…

  9. Wow! Shopping will be an unrecognisable experience in the future. I will miss the touch and feel and smell and what about the trying of those little toothpick taste samples!

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