Is the way of the future in-store or online? Why not both?

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Whether we swipe our fingers or ask Siri with our voice, smartphones have become a window into the world of information and knowledge that sits in our front pockets and wallets.

Almost all of us have access to this wondrous device that allows for constant connection and communication with the rest of the world, and on the rare occasion that we are not out and about with these smartphones or other digital devices, we are likely to ask the person next door to use us to check something for us.

A paradigm shift

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As soon as business people and consumers alike turned away from using devices like the BlackBerry and instead picked up an iPhone, there was a paradigm shift in behavior.

We can now send text messages or make phone calls, send high-resolution photos and videos, search for anything we need using an internet browser, and listen to an unlimited music collection on Spotify or even stream TV via YouTube without errors, which made us use our time so efficiently as possible to use. This limits our patience for tedious or everyday tasks and makes us frustrated with people who cannot move as fast as our devices.

Does that make technology good or bad? To tell the truth, it’s neither. A smartphone is a tool, much like a hammer for a carpenter. It’s not the tool, it’s how we use it. So how can we use them to create a better future for the world?

Thinking exponentially about smartphones

The ability of a smartphone to go into the cloud and give you access to these aforementioned virtual products and services is only part of the puzzle. Since I have C-suite executives and executives with my Forward-looking organization® model, we need to think exponentially of both software and hardware to stay ahead of disruptions.

For example, the ability of our smartphones to act as supercomputers has started to enable unlimited business opportunities. Think for a moment about the location services of a smartphone. How often do you think about what’s in the functionality and reliability of Google Maps? I bet you think about the mechanics of Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation on your smartphone as often as you think about how you’d go anywhere without it: almost never.

With voice commands on both smartphones and comparable functions in our vehicles, many of us even skip entering an address and simply say where we want to go. The app gives us the best route and even an ETA with AI and in seconds we are on our way.

For consumers, this function does its job perfectly; the Point is a matter of course for us as consumers. But to bring exponential thinking in that direction, we as entrepreneurs and business leaders can understand the capabilities of GPS and location services that are so easily accessible, and we see an amazing wealth of new opportunities.

A small component in your phone makes it easy for you to access a large network of GPS satellites that provide the device coordinates of where the phone or tablet is at any given time. This is a fairly extensive use of software and hardware combined with geographic information systems (GIS) in the cloud to instantly capture and present spatial data that enables users to locate not only themselves but their surroundings as well.

Once we understand this process, how can we look at this technology exponentially and, as a business leader or entrepreneur, begin to solve a problem? Which industry also has a problem that needs to be solved by a smaller version of a smartphone GPS app?

GPS powered grocery stores

Grocery shopping changed dramatically during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic when customers not only had to plan their weekly grocery shopping a little better, but just as many chose to use roadside pickup or grocery delivery whenever possible.

How will grocery shopping change after COVID-19? For those customers returning to in-person shopping after pickup or delivery, which was made slightly easier by using an online shopping cart and searching for a specific brand of product, their patience is likely to be razor-thin as they wander the aisles.

Businesses are already capitalizing on our obsession with instant gratification through the use of smartphones and tablets in many other ways, particularly when shopping online. But how do we get customers back in the door of stationary locations and better yet, combat the drawbacks of instant gratification and make it a desirable experience for them?

With this information, coupled with an understanding of the GPS functionality of our phones, it should be easy for a grocery store to tap into the positioning industry and combine it with the inventory technology already in place in their online store. Essentially, create a real world user experience similar to an online store, where the shopper builds their list and when they walk through the store has the grocery app active and pings it when you approach a specific product. re looking and helping you find the exact location.

This is an both / and world

Individual consumers Craving for instant gratification is increasing as a tough trend does Not means that grocery stores, convenience stores, and personal retailers will all give up their previous activities. The level of connectivity this world offers and the Exponential increase in virtualization Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many have also created a desire to leave their homes and physically shop.

Implementing an improved location awareness app in a grocery store only improves that part of the grocery shopping equation that many before COVID-19 found frustrating. Another exponential opportunity with this app idea is to include a feature that suggests another brand to the customer, possibly more health conscious, possibly in conjunction with statistics from a wearable device like an Apple Watch.

Improved location awareness through in-building systems allows customers to take their time and enjoy something as tedious as personal grocery shopping, with the tedious part solved for them. It also brings the inventory of an online grocery store into the personal shopping experience as the app could also inform the customer when something is out of stock and another brand is available.

Expand with anticipation

Remember, the hard trend is people’s desire for instant gratification in all walks of life, driven by the instant gratification of our smartphones. Knowing this Your occasional antenna should be set up as an entrepreneur.

Consumers want what they want, when they want it, and increased location awareness is increasingly being used by retailers, large and small, to accommodate those desires. By leveraging this powerful tool and using it proactively to resolve problems ahead of time before they become problems, organizations can meet their customers’ needs in new and powerful ways.



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