SAPICS 2019 Post-Conference Ezine - Page 13



SAPICS E-ZINE SEP 2019
into the mass market. “Once the chasm
is crossed, the innovations go from
deceptive to disruptive, experiencing
an exponential level of diffusion and
progress, driven by the competitive
need to keep up or be left behind. We
have experienced five waves since the
Industrial Revolution and are now in the
early ‘spring’ period of the sixth.
Making Buying Easy
“Convenience is a major driver for
consumers, and the most inconvenient
aspect of the shopping experience is
usually the bit at the end – unpacking
the basket, repacking and paying.
Sainsbury’s, a UK based grocery chain,
opened the first checkout free store in
Holborn Circus, London, which allows
people to scan the items they buy using
an app on their phone, and then payment
is made electronically. The store is
Sainsbury’s response to Amazon and the
introduction of their Go stores, which use
a variety of radical new technologies such
as vision tracking, sensing technology,
and machine learning, and which have
been successfully trialled in the US and
are currently being rolled out to 3 000
locations over the coming few years.
“When I started presenting on this
topic back in 2012 and 2013, I showed
exciting videos of radical new sixth
wave inventions such as warehouse
robotics, autonomous vehicles, drones,
collaborative robots and the like, only to
see little evidence of their materialisation
outside of these experimental
organisations.
While the videos went viral, the
innovations did not, constrained either by
technological issues, a lack of supportive
infrastructure, or legislation. However, in
April 2019, real evidence appeared that
indicated that we had reached a tipping
point, at least in the retail industry, as a
series of demand capture and fulfilment
innovations started to cross the chasm.
“Also in April, Walmart announced that
it had partnered with Google to enable
people to ‘order by voice’, where the
consumer can simply say out loud the
things they need, and Google Assistant
will identify your favourite brands, check
prices, look for deals and place the order.
12

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