Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, is trialling smart shopping trolleys. The shopping trolleys also serve as cash registers, so that customers no longer have to queue.
Personalised advertising and tips
Kroger is testing high-tech shopping trolleys in a supermarket in Cincinnati. Customers can scan their purchases directly at the trolley, so they can simply walk out of the store without having to go to checkout. Those who are willing to try them out will receive a five per cent discount as an incentive.
The so-called KroGo shopping trolleys also have built-in scales to scan unpacked products. In addition, a screen accompanies customers while they shop: the shopping trolley can give directions, make product suggestions and inform shoppers about offers and so on. It is the intention that, for example, brand producers will be able to advertise on the shopping trolley in the future. A card reader is also built in to pay on the spot at the cart.
Cheaper than Amazon Go
Producer Caper tells Forbes that these carts are easier to scale and cheaper than the technology at Amazon Go, but they have the same till-free convenience. According to the company, retailers will recoup their investment within a year, as the basket size would also increase. The tech start-up says it is already working with seven of the ten largest food retailers in the United States but does not mention any names. What we do know is that Canadian supermarket chain Sobey, after trialling the system in 2019, will soon roll it out in more stores.
Amazon launched its own smart shopping carts this summer, which it uses in its new supermarket formula Amazon Fresh. The cart uses sensors and computer vision algorithms to automatically identify the items placed in the cart. Shoppers put the cart through a specific lane, which then identifies the cart and automatically charges the customer's Amazon account and credit card. Caper's carts still require customers to scan the products themselves, but this could change later this year.