“Did you find everything you were looking for?” This common question at the checkout counter, especially in food stores makes me bristle. It implies we shoppers are not smart enough to find things on the shelf, and if someone does say no, the cashiers leave their posts to go look for the things that we shoppers already know are not there. The lines get longer as the shoppers’ patience grows shorter.
Standing in line with my client the other day at a Fresh Market, I was hoping she was going to answer this question with a simple yes, but she answered the cashier by saying, “No I didn’t find everything I’m looking for. I’m looking for a man to date and didn’t find one here.” While my client and the cashier had a good laugh and a whole conversation about online dating, the two women agreed online dating isn’t an option for them. Both of them – along with most women they know – have had terrible online dating experiences, but they commiserated about needing a place to meet decent men.
While I stood there listening to them, it got me thinking: What can food stores do to keep people coming into their stores that will insulate them from the threat of IoT and Amazon delivering everything? What are shoppers looking for that Amazon cannot deliver?
Although no supermarket will be stocking their aisles with eligible bachelors, the concept of offering convenience and inspiration as part of the food experience may be what will help save food retail. How close in or far out from food shopping, preparation and consumption can the industry go? Opportunities exist, but first we need to ask the right questions, which means moving beyond, “Did you find everything you’re looking for?”
And on the subject of meeting people – could supermarkets use their data to match single men and women who have shopping list compatibility? Because Amazon, with all its convenience, can’t deliver an eligible bachelor to your door. Or can they?