FITCH MUST SEE: habitat by honestbee shakes up the supermarket experience

Each month the global FITCH Must See team explore the best in brand experiences. Design Director Apolline Picot and Account Manager Avni Chandaria share how habitat by honestbee in Singapore is using the power of technology to set a new benchmark for supermarket shopping.

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Many of us view our regular trips to the supermarket as stressful — they are usually crowded, there’s lots to navigate…but this experience shouldn’t feel like another dull task on the to-do list. It’s time to understand how technology can help transform this into a meaningful experience, and explore the opportunities for retailers and consumers alike.

Retailers like Amazon in the US and Hema in China have started to merge digital innovation within their physical spaces to create an integrated and enjoyable experience for their customers. In Singapore, honestbee went one step further and created a ‘multi-sensory, tech-meets-food grocery and dining experience’ called habitat by honestbee.

The customer journey at habitat can be summarized by one key concept: save time to spend time. Customers can save time through the use of technology to spend time (and perhaps even more money) doing things they enjoy — such as exploring the rest of the space and engaging with the array of products.

The app

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One stop shop or monojourney. The honestbee app is a tool that supports your physical journey from getting you into the store, to scanning items and even to checkout.

Two checkout options

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As part of its quest to re-think the customer journey, habitat made a change to the biggest pain point customers face — the checkout queue. The first option is for speedy shoppers who can easily scan the items in their basket, pay through the app and leave. Super simple and seamless. The other option, the AutoCheckout booth, is for customers who have more than 10 items in their cart. Customers push their shopping cart into a booth, scan the app and wait to be notified when their groceries are ready for pick up. All done in less than 10 minutes.

The collection point

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Once notified, customers make their way to the collection point, scan the app and a robotic arm will slide over the grocery bags. Magic.

Other experiential touchpoints

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Credit: Discover SG

With the time saved, customers can explore the other experiential food and drink touchpoints. After walking around the bright 60,000 square foot space and browsing the 20,000 products, sitting down for a coffee break is the perfect way to end an already enjoyable shopping trip.

New retail spaces developed by innovative brands such as habitat, Hema and Amazon have done a fantastic job of using digital technology to reinvigorate the supermarket experience — making it more social and more seamless.

Bridging the gap between online grocery shopping and the offline experience like habitat does here not only helps to make a mundane task more enjoyable for the customer, it also provides an opportunity to leverage rich data for informing and curating future shopping experiences.

Since the start of COVID-19, consumers have been more conscious about the origin of products and face-to-face interaction. As we return to a ‘new normal’, it will be interesting to see how retailers will adapt their stores to facilitate demand for cashless and unmanned elements, without losing out on the overall, sensory brand experience.

*All imagery credited to habitat by honestbee unless stated otherwise

Follow Avni and Apolline as well as FITCH on LinkedIn

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FITCH is a global design consultancy. Designing the Future. Online, offline and in person.

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