Is the Digital Age Taking Over Food and Grocery Shopping in Washington D.C.?

Wi-Fi is everywhere nowadays. It is so important to us that to some, it is as essential as a basic need. In fact, Google is working on a project that will ensure that every corner of the earth has Wi-Fi connectivity. I won’t be surprised if this project goes beyond the earth such that there will also be Wi-Fi on the moon and beyond. Smartphones, Tablets, and AI (artificial technology) have revolutionized how we do so many things. From this perspective, I’ll be dealing with how all these things have worked together to change how we shop for food. People are discussing the future of food and grocery shopping; to me, it’s not the future because what they are discussing is already here, and it is happening even as you read this article. People have their groceries and favorite delicacies delivered right to their doorsteps or wherever they are in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is one of the busiest places in the U.S; hence, it is common for people not to have the time and energy to cook or go out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is only natural that man will look for an alternative to having all his needs and wants sated. They say necessity is the mother of all inventions and this is particularly true in this instance. Maybe people are succumbing to sloth due to the convenience smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi have provided. You are well aware that today, there is an app for almost any task imaginable. You want transportation, there is the Uber app; you want to socialize, there are so many apps for that it’s confusing; you want food or groceries, there is UberEAT, Mercato, or Postmates. Perhaps that is why grocery delivery in Washington D.C. is becoming an online thing, but there is more to it than that.

Shopping online for food and groceries is convenient in so many ways. In my opinion, that’s the main reason so many millennials in Washington D.C. are adapting and embracing this approach. Why waste money on gas when you could just spend a fraction of that money to have your groceries delivered wherever you are? Why waste time in traffic, or even walking to the grocery store when you could use that time to do other tasks at home, even if it’s just resting after work? A delivery service will immediately take note of your shopping cart and have the items delivered to your location in roughly 30 minutes to an hour or whatever time they indicated on their app, if it is convenient for you. For instance, Mercato is an online platform that’s connected to major grocery vendors in Washington D.C. and it promises to deliver groceries to your doorstep within the hour. It also gives you the option of making orders in advance, even a month in advance.

Grocery stores as we know them may become something different in a few years to come. Having your food or groceries delivered at home eliminates the element of having to deal with queues and other people unnecessarily. This is good for both the customers and the physical grocery stores themselves. If things were done this way, it means, all grocery stores would have to deal with, are orders from customers and their delivery. They won’t have to physically deal with customers. It is for this reason that they may transform from being grocery stores to warehouses for groceries. And no one will ever have to go out for groceries. Just take out your smartphone, tablet, PC, or whatever device you use to go online and make your order. Online platforms like UberEAT, Postemates, Mercato, Instacart, GrubHub, or Doordash, make this possible.

Amazon, in particular, is an enterprise that has invested significantly in this way of doing things. Its Amazon Go is a grocery store that’s partially automated and uses AI technology to manage how people buy groceries and other food products. All you need is the Amazon Go app on your iPhone or Android device and you are good to go. Just walk into the store, scan your phone and that’s it. Next, pick whatever you want and everything else, billing included, will automatically be taken care of by the AI technology on the store. I know this is not necessarily online exclusive but you get the idea of where the future of grocery and food shopping is headed.

Some concepts are a few years from manifestation, but some cool and awesome stuff are already happening. If you haven’t yet had your favorite delicacies or groceries delivered to your home by now, don’t be surprised if that is the only way you do grocery shopping or buy food by 2020. The future is here.

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