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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Grocery shopping with smart phones will flop if in US

    Toronto opened the first virtual grocery store in North America earlier this month, according to The Epoch Times. But this isn’t a new technology that should be welcomed by consumers, and ultimately, it’ll flop.

    Tesco Homeplus, an online shopping site, launched a campaign in South Korea promoting smartphone users to do their grocery shopping in a subway station. This type of virtual shopping, if continued throughout other countries, would eliminate human interaction as well as personal choice in food selection.

    Installed in a South Korean subway station is a wall-length billboard that includes pictures of different grocery store items on shelves. The “shoppers” would be able to take a picture of the item they wanted on their smart phone and a code located below the item would be scanned to their virtual shopping cart. Once done with their shopping, customers click the check-out button, the amount is charged to their credit card and the groceries are delivered within the day to their home, according to designboom.com.

    While this may seem helpful to those who live in highly populated cities and have limited time to make it the grocery store, it’s actually just another superfluous app on the smartphone. Going to the grocery store allows you to pick out exactly what you want. You can make sure that your eggs aren’t cracked or that your fruit and vegetables don’t have bruises.

    “It’s like online dating, you don’t know what you are going get until it arrives at your door,” said Andrew Nelson, a business sophomore.

    Unless these groceries are guaranteed to be fresh, how do you know for sure that you won’t end up with a rotten box of grapefruits?

    During the “dot-com” boom in the 1990s, online grocery shopping and grocery delivery was thought to be the next big thing, but it’s certainly not something everyone is doing nowadays, is it? Although the Internet has become a daily and even hourly part of peoples’ lives, this app is just the second round of a failed idea.

    There are 10 reasons why online grocery shopping is failing, according to investopedia.com — some of which include the act of choosing fresh produce and meats, but also the advantage to shoppers who can easily buy their groceries last minute in person, which is the main reason why stores are open on major holidays like Thanksgiving. This would not be possible on an online shopping center because timely delivery requires advance notice.

    If online grocery shopping is to be successful there are a few things that need to be tweaked to appeal to a broader audience. Guaranteed freshness, non-food items and instant delivery are necessary.

    But history shows that this idea is a bad one, and there’s no need for history to repeat itself in America, so let’s hope these shops stay up north.

    — Rebecca Miller is a junior studying photography and journalism. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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