Coop Italia opens Supermarket of the Future to reshape grocery shopping experience
A new flagship store in Milan’s University area of Bicocca claims to have taken first step to reshape the experience of shopping which is a mixture of physical and virtual supermarket environment or say augmented reality. Coop Italia, one of the largest supermarket chains in Italy, teamed up with Accenture to open the ‘Supermarket of the Future’ store. The innovators are of the opinion that it will enhance experience to make it more personalized and organized shopping.
The physical and digital environment blend in to recreate the atmosphere of local open-air markets along with delivering the consumer with useful product information ranging from value, ingredients, calories, to recommendations. Also, it is expected to enhance the experience of navigating through the supermarket.
While Accenture redesigned the supermarket’s information architecture, another company Avanade, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft, helped Coop to implement the IT infrastructure along with providing analysis and point-of-sale touch points. The entire set-up operates using cloud-based platform Microsoft Azure.
The entire 10,800-square-foot supermarket is equipped with interactive food display tables and smart shelves containing wide range of product information and holds about 6,000 products.
Simple movement of hand over large interactive tables shows augmented information about specific products on a monitor including its origin, nutritional facts, allergens, waste disposal instructions, correlated products and promotions. The shelves uses embedded Microsoft Kinect sensors for body detection. The vertical shelving let consumers navigate through the product categories, filter, and find suitable products.
There are also large real-time data visualization screens that display content including Coop’s brand values, special daily offering and cooking suggestions, social media information including posts on coop’s Facebook account, top selling products and promotions for each category, facilitating an additional interaction point with the shoppers.
Through Coop’s Supermarket of the Future, we are bringing to life how the physical and the digital are capable of converging to create an engaging and immersive grocery shopping experience. Coop is shaping the future of supermarkets by combining hyper personalization, deep product information and connected devices in-line with customer buying journeys. We are looking forward to continue collaboration and bring future innovation straight into the hands of Coop’s customers,
Alberto Pozzi, managing director in Accenture’s Retail Practice in Italy.
This idea was first revealed at Expo Milano 2015 where it received positive feedback that encouraged the Coop to work on it and bring it to reality by utilizing digital expertise of Accenture and Avanade.