Grocers and AI Partnerships

The grocery industry is no stranger to Artificial Intelligence. AI has been widely used within the grocery retail space for years to assist with labor, increased profits and simplifying everyday procedures. Up to this point, AI has been a tool rather than a replacement for workers and it continues to be a balance. During the National Retail Federations annual conference, Schnucks Market and Giant Eagle discussed the need to get workers comfortable with the benefits AI technology can offer while still ensuring they feel value in their job and efforts.

Technology can offer many efficiencies that human workers are unable to offer, however AI cannot match the level of customer service as with human interaction. What AI can offer is a solution to the hard and monotonous procedures that can help free up workers, “We go after purposeful automation where we are freeing up other people’s capacity to do more meaningful work and any redundant and tactical [tasks]… we are delegating to machines, because what our people excel at is relationship building, creativity, connecting dots,” said Smita Katakwar, Wegman’s Senior Vice President of Technology.

Getting employees on board with utilizing and embracing AI technology can be tricky. That is why Giant Eagle started to encourage usage by adding AI usage to quarterly bonuses for leaders and providing training and quizzes for employees where points are earned for raffles prizes. Since partnering with Axonify (An AI management system that uses microlearning and AI-powered reinforcement to meet the needs of today’s frontline employees) Giant Eagle has seen a 80% retention rate vs. 30% to 40% prior to the Axonify partnership. This AI management system provides an easy access for team members to receive cross-departmental and peer – to – peer training at ease.