retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that "Kroger is quietly tinkering with digital shelf technology it hopes could save it money and better reach customers," including touch screen shelf tags that would allow shoppers to "learn more about the products, such as nutritional information."

According to the story, "Kroger officials say providing more on-the-spot product information for customers could also prove a powerful lure. Using technology to help shoppers organize their lists and getting them through the checkout have been tools the nation's largest supermarket chain has leveraged to grow market share."

The technology is only being tested in one store in Northern Kentucky.
KC's View:
It always has seemed to me that this kind of technology is the natural evolution for where things are going, and one way in which consumers are going to access information in-store in the near future. Want to know the country of origin, or whether the product contains GMOs, or how to cook it, or what other products might go with it? Simply touch the tag…

Of course, I suspect that even as these kind of technology innovations are made available, retailers also are going to have to make it possible for customers to access the same information through their smartphones. whether through QR codes or some other system. It is all going to be about transparency and ubiquity of information … not because every or even the majority of customers will use it, but because providing such information will create trust on the part of the shopper.