There was a time when autonomous checkout was a little-known, cutting-edge technology only being tested in small-format convenience stores. Today, a range of leading grocers around the world have been testing out the checkout method in full-format supermarkets, and many consumers are familiar with the concept.
For instance, Rewe, a major German grocery chain, which operates around 6,000 stores in its home country and 3,500 in other markets, is implementing autonomous checkout in partnership with Israel-based computer vision company Trigo. The technology company announced Tuesday (June 28) the launch of the second store born of this partnership in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood following the “successful” launch of the first store in Cologne.
“Trigo is immensely proud and honored to be rolling out its frictionless grocery shopping technology with Rewe, one of the world’s biggest and most innovative grocery retailers,” Trigo Co-Founder and CEO Michael Gabay said in a statement. “Rewe have placed their trust in Trigo’s privacy-by-design architecture, and we look forward to bringing this exciting technology to German grocery shoppers.”
The more than 4,000-square-foot store enables consumers not only to buy packaged items but also to buy products by weight, an upgrade from previous stores.
Across the globe, technology of this kind has been becoming more common. In addition to Amazon rolling out cashier-less checkout technology at its Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market stores, grocers ranging from Tesco to Aldi, as well as a range of convenience retailers, have been testing the technology.
Additionally, live event venues have been leveraging the technology to provide a quicker commerce journey at concessions stands and shops, aiming to meet consumers’ need to be back in their seats sooner.
“In five years, I believe that you will have thousands of autonomous stores,” Yair Holtzer, vice president of business development at Trigo, told PYMNTS in an interview last year, specifying that these will include both small-format convenience stores in dense, urban areas and larger-format supermarkets. “You will be able to still buy in the traditional way, if you want … but you will also be able to choose the green lane to just walk in, grab the items and walk out.”
Frictionless checkout implementations of this kind also unlock the possibility for greater insight into shoppers’ behaviors. Amazon, for one, announced Wednesday (June 29) the launch of its new Store Analytics service, offering data to brands about “how their products are discovered, considered and purchased” from stores using Amazon’s cashier-less checkout and smart cart technology. The company also noted that this technology will enable brands to gain greater insight into how in-store ad campaigns are performing.
“This is what the next generation of the in-store journey should look like,” Raz Golan, CEO and co-founder of smart cart creator Shopic, said in an interview with PYMNTS last year. “All these data points are ones that we just couldn’t measure very well until today, and it opens a whole new world of data analytics.”