How Innovation is Helping You Shop

The Lempert Report
March 19, 2015

A more efficient shopping experience in 2015!

How do you shop? Are you an innovative customer?  With all the tools out there, today's consumer has the ability to use modern technology every step of the way.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently offered a solution for consumers in the debate over labeling of genetically modified foods: use your smartphones! Vilsack told members of Congress that consumers could just use their phones to scan special bar codes or other symbols on food packages to see the food's ingredients including GMOs. And he's right. Innovations are everywhere, and they can be used to help the way we shop, from the fridge, to the store to payment.
We can start at home, with the Smart Fridge.  Need Milk? Your Fridge will let you know! LG launched its new line of smart appliances equipped with HomeChat, which lets people communicate with their appliances through a mobile messaging app.The fridges have an internal camera, so you rushed out the door without making a list, you can check out if you have milk before buying more.
And what about when you're in the store? The much anticipated Apple Watch, is about to change the way consumers shop and interact with retailers. This touchscreen device will offer a host of features, from mobile payments to health and shopping apps. For retailers with the iBeacon platform, shoppers with Smartphones and Apple Watch will be able to to have their favorite apps come alive in store and help them based on where they are. For example, a shopper might be reminded to check their shopping list app upon entering a store, receive offers based on past purchases as they walk down a particular aisle or past a certain product or to view ingredients for a recipe she favorited last week. Creative Technology Company, RehabStudio, explored how this all might work in a  mock-up redesign of a Whole Foods store that reflects how beacon technology and wearable devices might be used by shoppers. 
And speaking of Apple, who needs credit cards or cash anymore, when there's Apple Pay! CEO Tim Cook, recently stated that the company’s mobile payment technology is now supported by 2,500 card-issuing banks while the number of locations accepting Apple Pay has tripled to nearly 700,000. This even includes  40,000 Coca-Cola vending machines. Apple Pay, for those of you who haven’t dabbled in mobile payments yet, allows you to make in-store credit or debit card payment using your iPhone.
And finally, an innovative tool that explores what Tom Vilsack is hoping for. An app for your smartphone called ipiit, which is the "food ambassador" that will help guide you through all the products in the grocery store to find food that's healthier, allergen-free, GMO-free, and organic. Its database is filled with more than 280,000 food products. Simply scan the barcode to find out more information about the product and bingo… everything you needed to know!
How about updating your shopping experience with some of these innovations!