Many brick and mortar stores may be in trouble right now (rest in peace Borders), but there is one institution that Amazon will have a hard time killing: grocery stores. As nice as it is to jump online and have a book or movie mailed directly to my home, it’s tough to imagine a world where we do all of our grocery shopping over the internet. We like the pick the freshest produce, select the best cuts of meat and grab the milk jug with the farthest expiration date. Heck, grocery shopping is an adventure. Some people take it more seriously than others (and have large binders filled with coupons to prove their power), but most people would be pretty miffed if their local purveyor of fresh food vanished. This is a fight online services couldn’t possibly win.
However, plenty of technology already exists to augment the supermarket shopping experience. Many companies have their own apps, letting customers check prices and see what’s in stock before they even leave their home. Some even let the user scan barcodes and check prices, making the hunt for a working price scanner a thing of the past. It’s like having your own personal employee escort in your pocket.
That’s a good start. What’s next?