What if… Mercadona embraced chatbots?

Oct 16, 2019

What would happen if a major supermarket like Spain’s Mercadona used chatbots? 




If you have been to Spain, you have seen a Mercadona. You may have not paid much attention to it, but you have seen it and may have also bought something there. They are the leading supermarket in the country and one of the best-run businesses in Spain.

Over the years they have grown from a small family store to a behemoth that employs over 90.000 people. They are based in Valencia, where Sanuker has an office, and that’s why we have decided to use them as an example of the opportunities that large supermarket chains can exploit by using artificial intelligence and chatbots.

Chatbots can help in four key areas

We have grouped opportunities in four main areas: facilitate supply chain negotiation and management, make online shopping easier, increase overall sales and provide in-store information. Before we dive in, we’ll need to set the scene with a few key data points on the Spanish market.

Spain is a country of approximately 47 million people, where 91% of the population is connected to the internet and over 80% uses a smartphone. Online shopping is widespread, 74% of the population is already taking part in it and 40% have already used a smartphone to shop. Online messaging platforms are used by 93% of the connected population. WhatsApp is the dominant player being used by 86%.
New technologies like artificial intelligence and chatbots have made the use of messaging platforms more accessible and scalable, creating great opportunities for companies like Mercadona.

Starting with simple chatbot applications

Their simplest applications could be used to support the company’s recent expansion into online shopping and home delivery of groceries. As we have seen in a previous post reducing friction is a key factor in online sales. A well-designed chatbot could allow users to shop directly from apps like WhatsApp and also be used to help coordinate deliveries, informing users of unforeseen delays or allowing them to notify the company of any problems.

Similar information-based chatbots could also be used by customers to look up recipes and automatically generate shopping lists or place an order for the ingredients. Inside the store, they could also function as shopping assistants providing users with additional information on the products.

The company could, for example, capitalize on the current health food trend by allowing people to take pictures of products in the store and displaying key nutritional information or suggesting recipes that would include that product.

On an even more interesting note, companies like Walmart have already started using bots and artificial intelligence to help manage negotiations with their suppliers and streamline their supply chain. Further opportunities can also be found in improving communications with the company’s employees and partners.

To help you identify opportunities like these that are relevant and specific to your business we have put together a great team of experts that will be more than happy to talk to you and conduct an analysis of your company’s situation for free.

You can reach out to them by using the link below.