The COVID-19 pandemic caused a halt in the processing of all pockets of global industry. But like any other industry, the food sector, too, learned to cope with the repercussions of the vicious pandemic. And, advanced technology helped the most in this pursuit.
Technology has gained a robust foothold in all right places. It has brought tremendous change in the food retail sector, helping it stand on its feet post the pandemic by making its functioning efficient. Technology has helped the sector in meeting the astronomically changed demands of customers, weighing down retailers.
To understand the impact of technology on the food retail sector, we need to understand the technology-driven trends and how their incorporation has elevated the pace of the sector.
Technology-driven trends in the food retail sector
Artificial technology (AI) — acing as a crystal ball to elevate the momentum of the food retail sector — has helped enormously in tracking food and beverages items throughout the supply chain.
The technology has streamlined the tracking of products, enabling retailers to offer transparency to their customers.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT), along with AI, provides a competitive advantage to food retailers, who are using it in the form of sensors that helps monitor animal health, soil quality, and the quality of the crop.
Automated driving vehicles
One of the best phenomenons of the last decade is self-driven vehicles. These vehicles have gained more mainstream acceptance, with retailers widely utilising them in their warehouses for storing and retrieving products for efficiency and cost-cutting.
Smart vending machines
Smart vending machines — which uses technologies to create an automated retail solution to deliver products without human staffing — have witnessed a tremendous surge in their utilisation.
These IoT-enabled smart vending machines help with convenient personalised shopping.
Benefits of technology-driven trends in the retail food sector
Owing to advanced technology, the dynamics of the food retail sector has become more custom-oriented and transparent, enabling brands to reach out to a wider audience. Here are some of its benefits.
Enhanced customer experience
With advanced technology like IoT and AI, food logistics have gained efficiency in its processing, making retailers more responsive to the customers. It allowed customers to attain the real-time status of their orders, which helps retailers to achieve customers’ loyalty and trust by enhancing their experience.
Ensuring food preservation through transparency
Food while travelling from one location to another goes through various hands, and its consumption can lead to food-borne illness. Thus, it is indispensable for retailers to monitor its processing through transparent means, which is possible through technology like IoT. It ensures resistance to contamination of food, leading to its preservation.
Allowing brands to reach a wider audience
Technology has bound the entire world, blurring the boundaries. It has allowed brands to reach any desired corner of the world.
These trends have helped in the risk management related to the food retail business and have helped in fighting the war against prevailing uncertainties in the global market.
Technology-driven trends have given wings to logistics, thereby allowing companies to come into an open market competition, which has helped in resisting inflation in the prices of commodities.
By leveraging technology, retailers can ensure growth while reaping the benefits of more efficient processes, greater cost-effectiveness, a deeper customer understanding, and fresh opportunities.
As humans, we are going to commit mistakes and errors that can land us into big trouble and can even cost us the reputation of our brand. But the level of precision that technology blesses the food retail sector, these human errors have no chance to sustain.
It has brought lots of optimisations and improvements in the sector, allowing retailers to strive and work towards a better and brighter future. It has also knocked down those who denied adapting to these changes in their business.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)