Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The supermarket app

Last update: Tuesday 3/29/16
Here's an old one : "If they can put a man on the moon, why can't they ... ???" And here's a recent update: "If they can produce an app that beats the best human player at Go, why can't they ... ???" ==> Replace the dots with whatever is really bugging the person who is asking the questions. 

In my case, what bugs me every week when I buy groceries is ==> "Why can't they produce an app that tells me which aisle the thing I'm looking for is located in the supermarket???" Yes, most of what I buy each week is the same as what I bought last week, so I eventually learn where most things are located. 
  • But why should I have to go up a learning curve when I forget?
  • Why should I go up a steeper learning curve, from time to time, when I decide to check out what another supermarket in my neighborhood is selling (and at what prices)???
  • Why should I be befuddled when my regular supermarket decides to move some items to a "better" location (for them)???
  • And why should I be dumfounded when someone in my family asks me to buy something they never requested before???
Given the fact that the smallest supermarket sells thousands of different food items that have to be restocked at least once each week, I know these stores have mapped the locations of their inventory into their computers. So why don't they share their computerized store maps with their customers? Why can't I download the "Walmart App" or the "Safeway App" or the "Whole Foods app", input the store address, and have instant access to an interactive map that tells me where everything is located???

I live in the Washington, DC area and, to my knowledge, none of the supermarkets in this area offers food maps for their customers' smartphones. Indeed, I have never heard of such apps for any supermarket in the entire USA. Am I wrong? Have some supermarkets in DC or anywhere else recognized that many of their 21st century customers value their time and would appreciate the conveniences of hip-side maps that could help them find what they want with a few keystrokes?