Grocery Roundup: Amazon ‘Just Walk Out’ Expands to Virginia; Giant Launches Interactive End Caps

Amazon Just Walk Out

Amazon is quickly expanding its “Just Walk Out” frictionless checkout system to new parts of the country.

The first full-size Amazon Fresh location using the technology on the East Coast opened with a new 30,000-square-foot store in Fairfax, Virginia, WTOP News, a Washington, D.C. outlet, reported Thursday (April 7).

Amazon has been not only expanding the reach of its Just Walk Out technology geographically but also expanding into new brands and retail categories. In March, the company opened its second Whole Foods Market store equipped with the technology, and last fall Amazon announced frictionless checkout partnerships with travel retailer Hudson and with coffeehouse giant Starbucks.

Read more: Amazon Opens Second Whole Foods Store With Just Walk Out

Travel Retailer Hudson Offers Amazon’s Just Walk Out Tech

Starbucks Eyes Cashierless Stores With Help From Amazon

Research from PYMNTS’ September study “Today’s Self-Service Shopping Journey: The New Retail Expectation,” created in collaboration with Toshiba, found that about one in three shoppers had used self-service options to pay for their most recent grocery purchase.

See more: Consumers Want Self-Service Checkout Options, But Rarely Get to Use Them

Moreover, the study, which drew from a census-balanced survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults about their checkout behaviors, found that the top reason consumers opt for self-checkout is that they are looking for a quicker purchasing experience. The second most popular reason is that they do not want to wait in line.

“It’s clear that users prefer to have a contactless experience,” Ariel Shemesh, co-founder and CEO of retail computer vision provider KanduAI, told PYMNTS in a September interview. “Self-checkout definitely got a lot of users who used to go to the cashiers, and they didn’t really mind waiting in line, but they got acquainted with this technology, and now they basically demand it.”

Read more: 3 Friction Points Slowing the Adoption of Self-Checkout for Grocers

Sodexo Brings Frictionless Checkout Grocery Store to College Campuses

In related news, food services and facilities management company Sodexo announced in late March the launch of eat>NOW autonomous grocery stores powered by AiFi, a company that offers computer vision checkout solutions for retailers, on campuses. The first one opened Wednesday (April 6) at the University of Denver.

“This partnership allows AiFi to bring our leading technology to campuses across the country with a proven leader in food services,” AiFi CEO and Co-Founder Steve Gu said in a statement. “With Sodexo, we can bring today’s students the ultimate convenience they’re looking for.”

Giant Food Digitizes Physical Aisles With Interactive End Caps

As grocers look to step up advertising revenue to offset rising food costs, Giant Food is bringing enhanced marketing capabilities into its stores.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) giant Unilever announced Wednesday a partnership with retail marketing platform Perch to create computer-vision-powered interactive end caps selling Dove products at several of the Ahold Delhaize-owned grocery chain’s locations.

“With Perch’s smart shelf display, our products can deliver the right product message at the right time …,” Unilever Team Lead for Ahold Christina DiPietro said in a statement. “We are thrilled to launch this platform in select Giant Food stores.”

Part of Perch’s goal is to bring the learnings of eCommerce to the in-store experience, as the company’s CEO Trevor Sumner told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster a June interview.

See more: Perch And Purina Team To Give In-Store Shoppers A Web-Like Product Experience

“Eighty-five percent of transactions occur in stores,” he said. “… So, we came at it as a fundamental question: Why can’t you click on products in-store? Brands are forced to try and connect with people before they get to the store, and not when they’re in front of the products, which doesn’t make any sense to us because when you’re at the store, that’s the point of consideration.”

DoorDash’s White-Label Efforts Continue With Grocery Partnership

With restaurant technology providers racing to touch the greatest share of restaurant orders, DoorDash continues to expand the reach of its white-label DoorDash Drive fulfillment platform.

eGrowcery, a white-label, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) eCommerce solution for grocers, announced a partnership Wednesday with the delivery service to give grocers on the platform access DoorDash Drive, offering a delivery solution for merchants.

“The combination of eGrowcery’s intuitive shopping experience and fully-integrated fulfillment process with DoorDash’s scale and convenience is very compelling,” said eGrowcery CEO Patrick Hughes in a statement. “All of these benefits and retailers maintain a direct connection with shoppers through their own branded app, enabling them to profitably grow their business.”

The news comes one week after DoorDash announced a partnership with website building platform Wix to integrate its DoorDash Drive white-label fulfillment platform into restaurants’ Wix sites and apps.

Read more: DoorDash Steps up Its White-Label Efforts in the ResTech Race to ‘Digital Entirety’