Merchants Tap Smart Carts to Drive 30% Basket Size Increases

smart carts

As shoppers continue to seek eCommerce-like convenience in their brick-and-mortar journeys, self-checkout technologies such as smart carts can boost their spending and loyalty, Cust2Mate CEO Guy Mordoch tells PYMNTS.

On Wednesday (June 21), A2Z Smart Technologies Corp.’s flagship smart cart product, Cust2Mate, announced a partnership with retail technology company IR2S meant to roll out 30,000 carts by the end of 2025 to French retailers including Monoprix and Casino Group.

“We see that about 60% of the cart users today are returning shoppers,” Mordoch explained in an interview with PYMNTS. “I think what has surprised me the most is that, today, we offer the cart with very basic capabilities. We don’t have all the enhanced AI capabilities. We don’t have all the applications running on the platform. We don’t have the retail media stuff running yet.”

Yet even with just these basic capabilities, Mordoch noted, the company sees a 30% increase in average basket size when shoppers use smart carts over regular shopping carts.

The increase makes sense, given the way that self-service technologies remove friction for the consumer. For instance, research cited in the February edition of PYMNTS’ Retail Tracker® series, “Innovating the Retail Checkout Experience,” created in collaboration with LS Retail, reveals that 60% of retail customers prefer self-checkout to interacting with a cashier.

Additionally, merchants see these kinds of technologies as key to consumer loyalty. Data from PYMNTS’ study “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization,” created in collaboration with ACI Worldwide, which drew from a survey of 300 retailers across the United States and the United Kingdom, revealed that 50% of general retailers and 60% of grocers think consumers would be very or extremely likely to switch merchants if not offered self-service kiosks.

Plus, 37% of general retailers and 40% of grocers said the same of the ability to scan products and pay without standing in line.

Taking on Instacart

As grocers look to break away from Instacart, finding ways to meet consumers’ in-store and online tech needs without depending on the third party (which owns the transaction and levies steep commissions), smart carts such as Cust2Mate, which integrate with the retailer’s point of sale (POS) and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, can go a long way.

Mordoch noted that, down the line, Cust2Mate will be able to generate “insights that are driven from data,” as well as to run “advertisements and retail media on the cart” based on that data. He argued that, in the smart cart space, competitors are “really stuck” on the hardware of the cart itself, whereas Cust2Mate is looking “five, seven, ten years down the road” at how data capabilities will revolutionize the shopping journey.

The Next Big Thing in Smart Carts

Aiding these data marketing capabilities, Mordoch predicts, will be generative artificial intelligence (AI), though this technology has not taken hold among smart cart creators yet.

Indeed, as Instacart taps generative AI for its own recommendations, grocers must find technologies that enable them to remain competitive.

“Generative AI … definitely has the potential to, and probably will, revolutionize the smart cart space by helping to enhance the personalized shopping experiences, optimizing pricing and promotions, improving inventory management, et cetera,” Mordoch said. “Cust2Mate is currently investing in integrating Generative AI capabilities in our solution offering.”