Waitrose is putting new technology centre stage as it rolls out the next generation of its stores.
At one of the retailer’s most recently opened stores, in Swindon, IT director Cheryl Millington last week revealed Waitrose was working on new technologies that “blur the boundary between online and in-store shopping”.
They include an app that uses apple’s iBeacon system to send shoppers personalised content and promotions relevant to their specific location in-store, and enables them to call for assistance.
“It is like having a virtual personal assistant that helps you out as you shop,” said Millington.
Other apps under development include a version of Quick Check price scanner for mobile, and payment apps that allow shoppers to order and pay for food and drink from the in-store juice bar and eateries.
Waitrose has also developed the next generation of its Quick Check device. This has a bigger screen and more powerful battery, and allows shoppers to transfer their shopping list from their mobile.
Other technologies being trialled in Swindon include a large interactive screen and TV in the café allowing shoppers to browse recipes, watch Waitrose TV and connect via social media.
Retail director Rob Collins has unveiled new developments in the evolution of Waitrose.com.
Collins said the supermarket was about to launch a wine site called Waitrose Cellar with more engaging content including video and reviews as part of move to make the range “come to life” online.
He also announced that the retailer had invested in 300 new delivery vans with 50% more capacity and an on-board freezer allowing them to increase the time out on the road from four hours to six hours. All 300 will be on the road by October.