Technology is another way Kroger captures growth.
Technology is another way grocery retailers like Kroger can capture growth.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Call it close encounters of the grocery store kind.

But, according to Nielsen, the supermarket of the future is not so far out. The information research company says in a recent report that a grocery store where people can receive personal recommendations and offers the moment they step in stores and pay for groceries without ever taking out their wallets is closer than consumers think.

Digital is redefining what it means to “go” grocery shopping, according to Nielsen, with lines between the physical and digital worlds blurring. Shoppers, who have grown accustomed to the benefits of digital in other retail settings, are beginning to expect them in grocery as well.

“The connected commerce era has arrived,” said Patrick Dodd, president of global retailer vertical for Nielsen. “Consumers are no longer shopping entirely online or offline; rather, they’re taking a blended approach, using whatever channel best suits their needs. The most successful retailers and manufacturers will be at the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds, leveraging technology to satisfy shoppers however, wherever and whenever they want to shop.”

According to Nielsen, there has been a resurgence of the home-delivery model from the past but with a twist. Rather than “call-in” orders, consumers are ordering via apps and webpages on their phones. In fact, 25 percent of global respondents in Nielsen’s “Global E-Commerce and The New Retail Survey” say they are already ordering grocery products online for home delivery, and more than half are willing to use it in the future.