The biggest disruptive technology for grocery in 2018


The grocery sector set for massive disruption technology in 2018.

There is an unseen (by most), technology disruptor that is set to impact how consumers grocery shop in a big way in 2018 and beyond.

Sometimes a technology creeps up on you and before you know it you’re wondering why your sales have been so massively impacted. You are wondering why you never saw it coming.

  • Why didn’t Kodak see digital photos?
  • Why didn’t Blockbuster see Netflix?
  • Why didn’t Sony see iTunes?
  • How did you miss the massive rise of Bitcoin?


Introducing the Voice Activated Device

Did you know that almost half (47 % according to Salmat ) of Australian shoppers are already aware of at least one in-home voice assistant device. And almost half (46%) are willing or excited to use an in-home voice assisted devices to interact with and shop from retailers.

Here’s the rub…Voice assisted devices will be the biggest disruptive technology impacting the grocery market in 2018.


Are Brands ready for the impact of this disruptive technology?

Why haven’t brands seen the impact of in-home voice assisted devices on the grocery shopper?


Here’s a real life exercise to put you right in the hot seat of this burgeoning technology.

Imagine your’e looking at your spice rack and you notice that you’re almost out of smoked paprika. Now imagine calling out to your Google Assistant (Google Home) or your Amazon Alexa – “Add smoked paprika to my shopping list.” Question, which brand is likely to show up?


Try this on this exercise for size:

  1. Ask Siri (Or your mobile phone’s Voice Activated Technology) to set up a shopping list. Say: “Set up a shopping list.
  2. Now, add smoked paprika (or whatever) to your list. Say: “Add smoked paprika to my shopping list.
  3. Now add 3 or 4 additional items to your shopping list.
  4. Now…NOTE how many brands have you specified? Did you specify a brand or just call out a product?

So now, imagine you tell your device to send your shopping list to Coles or Woolies and order your groceries.

  • Which brand of product will they send you?
  • Will they send you the brand based on your previous shopping history or will they send you the brand with the highest margin?

Assuming you already have an online supermarket shopping account set up, then in all likelihood they will send you the brand you already have on your list. Mmmmm! So…How do you as a brand make sure you get on that initial list?


How do you get your brand onto the shopping list?

According to the Salmat research the majority (57%) of consumers polled say they would consider either buying an in-home voice assistant presently or in the future. (By the way, it’s interesting to note that by upgrading your phone, some Telco’s are offering free Google voice assisted device.)

Salmat’s research point out that the number one item to be bought using a voice assisted device is “groceries”!

Did you know that in the US, the number of voice assisted speakers is expected to approach 40 million by the end of this year ( 2017). It should be noted that this rapid take up of this new technology is only 3 years after the launch of Amazon Alexa and just 1 year after the launch of Google Home. It’s not a big stretch to say that with both major players (Google and Amazon) now entering the Australian market, voice technology is expected to take off in 2018.

The more people become accustomed to using voice assisted device, the more Brands are going to have to come up with answers to ensure they get on the shopping list. What’s your plant to get onto the consumers shopping list?

2 ways of making sure your brand gets onto the shopping list

In the Salmat research, when asked how they would use in-home voice assistants to research and buy products…

  • 3 out of 5 of respondents (60%) said they would use their voice assisted device to search for the best price, ahead of searching for a specific brand (only 8%).
  • The consumer will be expecting the voice assisted device to primarily help them find the best bargains, discounts or sales (48%), and
  • 59 % say that alerts to sales, discounts and promotions would be a helpful feature for in-home voice assistants.


This means that…

  1. This means that you may have to buy your way onto the shopping list. Or…
  2. Make sure you are selected when the original shopping list is set up. To ensure you get onto the shopping list in the first place you’ll need to make sure you product packaging has been optimised for online selling. At Jam&Co we can help you with that.

How much will voice assisted devices disrupt the grocery shopping market is yet to be tested. That said, the signs are all pointing to yet another disruptive technology that will have a major impact for FMCG brands and how they go to market.