Google Glass resolves trust issue in online grocery shopping

Until now, ‘dark stores’ have been little more than a useful but mysterious element of back-end retail operations, hidden from customers’ eyes. Thanks to the brand new wave of retail technology innovation using smart glasses like Google Glass or Epson or wearable cameras like an Android device, the ugly duckling can soon turn into a swan.

Dark stores: the dark horse of grocery e-commerce & retail

In general, dark stores are brick-and-mortar locations or dedicated warehouses, set up to fulfil online orders from retailers’ websites. This doesn’t sound too sexy on its own, right? However, dark stores have one truly intriguing characteristic: they often mock the layout of the company’s existing retail stores, loaded with actual products on endless shelves.

Just like at the imaginary atelier of Santa Claus, hundreds of diligent helpers move around to collect and assemble products for the remotely requested ‘shopping carts’. (The Guardian has actually once compared them to Willy Wonka’s factory, but now that holidays are coming, we wanted to come up with something more festive.)


What’s the problem with online grocery shopping?

Considering the fact that dark stores are usually operated by supermarket giants like Tesco or Waitrose, you may start wondering why it might be worth expanding technological innovation to a subsidiary vertical such as online grocery shopping. Indeed, most customers are still somewhat reluctant to buy food products remotely.

What is the main psychological barrier holding our tech-savvy customer generation back from doing so? The answer is painfully obvious: they can’t see or touch the actual products. They trust their own eyes, but they don’t trust the retailers.

How unfortunate…Imagine being a company spending tremendous amount of money on operating and promoting your e-commerce and home delivery services – struggling to get customers in the mood to finally start using them. Besides this, you’ve already set up a costly logistics system based on personal ‘pickers’ compiling the orders at the mockup store.


Let your online customers see the products with the power of Google Glass

What if you could just connect these two worlds and show the physical products to your online customers in real time, resolving trust issues?

All you need to do is to equip your store assistants with wearable cameras like Google Glass, Epson or Android smartphones and use Whisbi to share an interactive omnichannel experience with your online shoppers in real time.

The customer can be sitting at home on a grim November night, comfortably watching the ‘store’ through the eyes of the personal picker, thanks to the real-time video streaming. Whilst talking to the assistant, she can actually see the selected products in all their dimensions: ‘All right, those tomatoes look ruby red indeed.’

You’re not trying to avoid curious glances like many others do. Instead, you are proactively inviting all your online customers with even the slightest trace of suspicion to come see the quality for themselves. Who could compete with that?

The expected uplift in trust and transparency is unprecedented. Customers are more inclined to order groceries online and the logistics are arranged in real time, as part of a natural flow.

This is a real low-hanging fruit, and not only when it comes to online grocery shopping but in any retail and e-commerce vertical that involves physical products. A juicy, fresh low-hanging fruit that’s definitely worth a closer look.

See Whisbi’s innovation in action.