Will Farmstead’s ‘Smart Shopping List’ give it an edge in online grocery competition?
Glenn Taylor, Senior Editor, Retail TouchPoints
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
Farmstead, an online grocer of locally sourced produce based in San Francisco, has introduced a Smart Shopping List feature designed to predict what products customers need based on factors including weekly shopping history, buying signals and what’s already in their cart.
The grocer uses proprietary AI and machine learning technology to predict grocery trends and consumer purchasing habits. The technology helps Farmstead keep prices for certain products below the averages in Bay Area supermarkets.
The Smart Shopping List’s algorithms incorporate data from customer wellness preferences along with the collective behavior of other customers who buy similar products.
In trial mode, Farmstead found that more than 40 percent of customers chose to shop via Smart Shopping List when presented with the option. When they did, they were 3.5X more likely to add suggested items to their list.
“One of the biggest challenges to buying groceries online is to build your shopping cart rapidly,” said Farmstead co-founder and CEO Pradeep Elankumaran in a statement. “Since there are no physical aisles to walk through like a traditional supermarket, and only so much scrolling one can take, it’s a true challenge to help customers find the right products at the right time, while also suggesting new ones they’ll love in the few minutes they spend each week tapping buttons online.”
Farmstead’s algorithms also take complex factors into account, such as day of the week and seasonality (for example, recommending heavy cream during Thanksgiving) or compatible products (show the cream cheese you normally buy when you buy bagels). The algorithm also can programmatically identify seasonal products (fresh local strawberries in the summer).
The feature launch comes three months after Farmstead debuted an automated order replenishment offering called Refill & Save, which lets customers set up weekly subscriptions for their grocery staples such as milk, eggs, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and bread.
- Farmstead Launches Predictive Behavior-Based ‘Smart Shopping List’ – Retail TouchPoints
- Online Grocer Farmstead Introduces Smart Shopping List, Accurately Predicting What Customers Need – Farmstead/Globe Newswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Farmstead’s use of AI and machine technology to help customers develop their grocery shopping lists and explore new items? Can algorithm-driven suggestions bring the browsing benefits of in-store shopping to the online grocery experience?