The smart cart

Now you can talk to your shopping cart

Amazon did it again!

Their new technology-centered Amazon Fresh supermarkets are equipped with high-tech shopping carts that scan and tally purchases that let customers pay for groceries electronically without going through the old painful checkout process. Now these tech-savvy carts also have incorporated Amazon’s voice command service – Alexa – that allows customers to ask questions while shopping, too!

These “Dash Carts” are just another in a series of innovations that Amazon is famous for as part of their customer centric business strategy. Their simple, but sophisticated concept is to study the “pain points” that customers experience in their typical shopping activities and then develop ways to eliminate them using technology and delighting customers in the process. All of which obviously reinforces their brand equity which contributes to their overall competitive advantage and profitability.

The supermarket shopping experience has and continues to be a painful and time-consuming process for consumers. Major supermarket chains have implemented several ways to make this experience less painful like:

  • Shopping online and having groceries delivered
  • Shopping online and having groceries selected and packaged for pickup
  • Self-checkout where customers scan their selections and package them themselves

However, all of these techniques, while offering options to the standard supermarket shopping experience appeals to only a small segment of the population. Most supermarkets are still loaded with customers using the old-fashioned time-consuming grocery shopping process with long lines at checkout counters. Even the self-checkout option now has about the same number of customers waiting to self-checkout as the regular checkout counters.

In a technology driven world where time and shopping effort has become a precious commodity for many, Amazon is at the forefront of making it easier and less painful to do business with them than their competitors. The epitome of which is their “Everything Store”, where consumers can get most of what they want with just a click on their smart devices.

Their new Amazon Fresh grocery store concept is just another part of the perpetual implementation of their customer centric strategy.

What are you doing to make the shopping experience easier for your customers utilizing technology?

Robert M. Donnelly is an author, educator and brand builder for businesses and individuals. His consultancy business is called His corporate life was spent in executive positions with IBM, Pfizer and EXXON and then as the CEO for several U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinational firms. Professor Donnelly is on the faculty of Saint Peters University as well as Rushmore University, a global online university. His latest book is Personal Brand Planning for Life, available on Amazon. He also functions as an interim executive. You can contact him at or visit his website at