Being an independent grocer is much like being a startup. You can operate with greater agility than larger competitors when new opportunities arise.

But like a startup, you’re potentially facing more business risk than industry heavyweights.

This was one of the reasons that Daisy supported the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)  when it held a special symposium on innovation at the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show in San Diego.

While independent grocers may be aware of the many ways that they can capitalize on innovative technology like artificial intelligence (AI), there is nothing like hearing from the experts to provide insight and strategic direction.

Based on some of what we heard during the symposium, it’s worth addressing the common myths that grocers might have about their technological future — and debunking them for those who weren’t able to attend:

The Myth: Technologies like AI are beyond the budgets of all but the largest grocery chains.

The Reality: It’s true that deploying AI and even less sophisticated business software may once have meant spending a small fortune on licenses and setting up a data center.

But over the last 10 years, the evolution of computing processing architecture to ever-smaller components (something called Moore’s Law), along with the rise of cloud-based software has democratized technology.

Smaller independent grocers can — and are — using AI to level-set the competitive landscape today without breaking the bank.

The Myth: Success with technology requires establishing in-house expertise.

The Reality: Sure, large organizations have entire teams of data scientists who do nothing but analyze information to find insights to achieve business objectives.

With the right trusted advisor, however, you can focus on the business issues that you know best while tapping into expertise as needed.

Daisy has worked with grocers with a single IT director and staff person, for example, who have gotten up and running with AI and driven business growth through optimized pricing and product assortments.

The Myth: If the data that you have collected as a grocer isn’t well-organized or perfectly polished, technologies like AI are useless.

The Reality: Don’t worry so much about “data readiness” as some experts like to call it.

One of the things that distinguish reinforcement learning as true AI compared with other approaches is it continuously learns and improves through simulations and trial and error.

As you continue to leverage the technology, your data quality will improve — as will your results.

This is a fantastic time to be an independent grocer.

Whether you’re a small chain or family-run business, independent grocers have a well-earned reputation for being close to their local communities.

Now, they have access to the technology and expertise to deliver a seamless and powerful digital experience that puts them on the level of industry giants.

We’d be happy to show you how Daisy helps grocery retailers improve profits by more than 100% and top-line sales by 5%. Contact us to learn more.

To read more about common misconceptions about AI, read our blog here.

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