For an industry slow to embrace technology, change is coming fast.

After the barcode scanner was introduced in the 1970s, the relationship between the grocery industry and technology practically fizzled out. That is, until recently when a few progressive retailers upped the ante on smart shopping. Let’s take a look at some of the factors behind the trend.

For decades, slim profit margins have kept grocers from investing in technology, forcing them to remain stuck in time. And the economic downturn that began in 2008 didn’t help the situation — according to IBISWorld, industry revenue has declined an average of 0.4 percent in each of the last five years.

To stay afloat, retailers are finally coming around to the fact that they need to modernize to regain market share, especially among mobile-savvy millennials. Here are a few notable examples of those blazing the trail:

• Ralphs, California, implemented infrared cameras that measure customer activity in order to anticipate the length of checkout lines. Managers can then redeploy cashiers as necessary.

• Homeplus, South Korea, opened a virtual market located at a Seoul subway stop. Shoppers can use smartphones to scan barcodes located on more than 500 images of products and pay on the spot. Purchases are home-delivered same-day.

• Wal-Mart has expanded its Scan & Go mobile app payment system to more than 200 stores nationwide.

While we’re not in the infrared camera business, Bacompt can help you maximize your investment in technology by exploiting every benefit data can offer at the shelf edge. In-store cloud-based printing, QR codes, sophisticated recon reports that put actionable data at your fingertips, and data-rich marketing programs are just a few of the ways we can help you implement your technology-enhanced sales strategy. We welcome the opportunity to consult with you.