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Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing, Chris is the cofounder of Successful Workplace. He believes there’s no end to what we can change and improve. Chris is a marketing executive and flew for the US Navy before finding a home in technology 17 years ago. An avid outdoorsman, Chris is also passionate about technology and innovation and speaks frequently about creating great business outcomes at industry events. As well as being a contributor for The TIBCO Blog, Chris contributes to the Harvard Business Review, Venture Beat, Forbes, and the PEX Network. Christopher is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 295 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Frustrated With Your Shopping Experience? It Doesn’t Have to Be this Way

04.08.2013
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I admit it, I hate shopping. When my wife hands me a list for the grocery store I am convinced she is trying to punish me for some past transgression. I know better than to argue with her though, so I dutifully head to the store.

I think most of my gray hair comes from all these trips to the grocery. I have been doing these shopping trips for a long time and it used to be worse. I used to go to the grocery store with a handwritten list and without a cell phone (yes, I am that old).

Paper Shopping Lists?

The list would say things like “2 cans green beans.” You would think that would be easy to find, but if you’re also shopping challenged, you understand the difficulty. In the canned vegetables aisle, there are 83 different kinds of green beans. I used to choose whichever can of green bean I thought my wife wanted and pray I was close enough. Now, I stand in front of the green beans and I text her, “Which brand and cut of green beans and what kind of sauce do you want?” She texts me the answer and I go to the next item.

Help in Aisle Two 

No matter how many times I have done this, with each trip to the store my frustration goes sky high with at least one item on the list. I’m always unable to find at least one thing. The signs overhead never seem to match. I walk up and down the aisles thankful I won’t have to go to the gym later, because I am getting all of my exercise pushing the cart.

I know my frustrations will end soon. There are stores out there that understand the Two-Second Advantage and want to provide a better shopping experience for their customers. Those stores know what I am looking for and help me find it efficiently, correctly, and quickly. They are going to give my wife the ability to create a shopping list based on our buying history. The list will have the exact name and size of each product with identification numbers. The list will automatically sort based on the store I enter so that my walking path is efficient. The butcher will be able to see the chicken on my list and be able to suggest Cornish Hens instead since he knows they are on sale today and we have bought Cornish Hens in the past.

Integrated Shopping Carts

A grocery or retail store with integrated systems, that is also integrated with their customers, helps to make the shopping experience more enjoyable. The store will know what products are selling most, what needs to be restocked, what customers want most and be able to act intelligently with full understanding. From the customer perspective, being able to access a store’s inventory, having personalized deals based on shopping history and the store being more engaged, keeps a customer’s shopping basket full.

More than anything, the one weird item I can never seem to find will no longer take hours to hunt down. I can select the item on my list and will be told the exact aisle and shelf. It will even give me a hint as to what is on each side of it, although that will likely be the same item, just from a different brand.

I look forward to the day I am no longer lost in a grocery store and can buy every item on my list. I wonder if my gray hair will return to its natural color.

Read more on how business can use modern technology to turn their customers into fans in our whitepaper.

Published at DZone with permission of Christopher Taylor, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)