Written by: Gary Hawkins, founder, and CEO of the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

Many retailers must accelerate their adoption of techniques to facilitate innovation.

The transformation of brick-and-mortar retail to the new digital world is not without its trials and tribulations. Walmart has recently sputtered as the company consolidates or divests digital initiatives gained over the past couple of years. Kroger Co.’s recent financial performance has been impacted by massive investments in e-commerce and numerous other digital efforts.

Some retail executives have sought solace in these well-publicized stumbles, believing it is validation for a “go slow” strategy, reinforcing once again the time-proven value of being an innovation follower. For decades, grocery retailers have achieved success by not being a leader, happy to let someone else bear the pain of new innovation.

hundred_years_of_retailWhen considering the truly transformative developments that have occurred in grocery retail over the past 100 years, there’s
really only three:

  1. The development of the modern supermarket, where customers shopped for themselves
  2. The development of the barcode and product scanning
  3. The development of customer-identified transaction data

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash