Why Grocery Companies Should Invest in Artificial Intelligence Technology?

Image Credits: Reddit.com

Undoubtedly the best and most memorable scenes from any movie are the ones that are shot in a Grocery Super Market. These movies have made the mundane task of grocery shopping a lot more dramatic and fun. 

If you have been a fan of John Hughes, Home Alone then you know what I am referring to here. The funniest and the cutest supermarket scene is from this movie. Macaulay Culkin plays the street smart star of the show, Kevin. In the scene, he made a list, grabbed the money, and took off to the grocery store to stock up on essentials. 

The clerk at the checkout counter gets super suspicious of a kid his age out shopping alone. But our smart little Kevin has a good answer for every question that the clerk has in this hilarious scene. This kid pulls it off so well!

Well, grocery shopping is a therapeutic experience for most people. And retailers are looking out for ways to reduce the cost of the operations and improve the experience further using the Artificial Intelligence (Computer Vision) technology. 

How can Artificial Intelligence be Used in Grocery Retail?

The global food and grocery retail market size was valued at USD 11.7 trillion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.0% from 2020 to 2027.

The applications of AI in grocery retail is vast:

  • Theft Prevention
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Food Waste Reduction

With the super progression of computer vision and natural language processing techniques retailers can now achieve the delight of automation at every customer touchpoint. 

Artificial Intelligence for Theft Prevention

The case of Retail Shrinkage is a multi-billion-dollar problem in the retail grocery industry. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2019, the inventory loss due to shoplifting, employee theft, or other errors and fraud reached $61.7 billion in the United States alone. 

To tackle this issue retailers have adopted various loss prevention systems like electronic surveillance, reporting systems, CCTV cameras, and more. 

Yet the loss is not preventable. Retailers still fall victim to shrinkage because most of these methods are reactive and not proactive.

Artificial Intelligence based computer vision technology can help retailers be more proactive in this area:

Smart Shelves: Real-time triggers and call to action can be shared by these smart shelves sensors if they detect any abnormal activity. Beyond theft prevention, these sensors can also be used to re-stock the shelves before the stock runs out. 

RFID enabled smart tags attached to the goods with an electronic reader to track products. These devices can be removed at check out but if not then security can track the product anywhere.

Motion Detection Using CCTV Cameras is penetrating fast into the segment. The system powered by computer vision technology identifies faces and gestures and any gesture that can be questionable is reported to the on-ground staff. The staff once alerted can track the movements of that customer to ensure no fraudulent practice is executed. 

AI for Retail Grocery Marketing and Promotion

If you had Rachel visit your store the last time and you know she picked up 6 different products then for her next visit your smart CCTV camera can detect her face and share customized offers on such similar products. This is how retail grocery is transforming. 

Not all of us want to see the marketing campaigns done for all the products. In fact, what attracts us the most is discounts on products we frequently buy.

Traditional marketing practices find it hard to personalize marketing content to the audience. But with the Natural Language Processing technique, this is a cakewalk. 

Based on earlier chats, social media history, browsing patterns retailers can customize their messaging to every person and showcase exactly the products they care about. These campaigns are highly effective to increase sales and reduce the time to check out. 

AI for Retail Grocery Food Waste Reduction

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization states that food wastage amounts to $680 billion in industrialized countries and $310 billion in developing countries. 

In the U.S. food wastage at the retail level is amounted to 144 billion pounds or $161 billion worth of food. 

Accurate AI-based Demand forecasting is the key to reduce wastage of groceries at a retail store. These forecasting models can direct retail managers to get an adequate quantity of supplies and save millions of dollars of wastage. 

Understanding customer buying patterns, analyzing the current foot-fall, understanding taste and preferences, and several other parameters are taken into account by the machine learning system to share a highly-reliable model. 

Artificial Intelligence-based Data Annotation at Scale for Grocery Retailers

Annotating the data that retailers gather using CCTV cameras, chatbot interactions and in-store sensors etc is a very important part of preparing the data to become machine learning ready. So here is why you should check out Labellerr, an AI-based data annotation company. 


  • Data Labelling at scale is an important concern for an organization since creating labels on large data sets by hand is often too slow and expensive. Labellerr solves this problem with their agile ML-Powered data annotation platform. 
  • Work Quality and Worker productivity is difficult to track in the case of crowdsourcing and freelance data labeling services. Hence now with Labellerr’s marketplace, you can choose from our hand-picked and most trusted vendors to get data labeling tasks done.
  • Domain and context capabilities specific to tasks are limited with workers on crowdsourcing platforms, contractors, and freelancers. So, if you wish your data annotation task to be automated and error-free then choose Labellerr. 


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