How can we not applaud ANY effort to integrate digital technology into the shopping experience? Sure some will get it wrong - but many will get at least some things right to encourage continued testing and investment to determine the best path to deliver a better shopper experience for the customer - and drive more revenue for the retailer. Thinking about all the possibilities - app integration, automated pricing, interactive product messaging, lowering of store labor costs - I believe adoption of smart shelf technology WILL more than pay off the operational costs and will likely even provide a new revenue stream. Keep the pedal to the metal!
I find it amusing to see Kroger look for revenue anywhere it can irrespective of its so-called commitment to "customer experience" (let alone one consistent with its brand). What more proof do you need to demonstrate that delivering engagement and "experience" is all lip service when you choose to sell fresh foods next to lip gloss and hemorrhoid creme. Tellingly I think that WILL be the difference maker and those who don't deliver will fall by the wayside in the brick-and-mortar side of their business.
Missing in the discussion is the brand personality that Boxed has cultivated with its customers to help drive its growth -- highly personalized (literally a personal note from the person who packed your box) customer service and unique touches like their program to provide materials to turn their boxes into creative fun projects for kids. Can this scale for a Kroger? Not so sure. And if not, is part of their DNA then lost and possibly, some of their sales magic?
NTD dimensionalizes how we see and understand the shopper in many ways far better than past transactions. I would much rather try to connect and engage with the consumer to drive a desired behavior rather than just rely on historical behaviors without context or ability to understand/influence the drivers.