UK supermarket chain, Sainsbury's is trialling its first till-free store. With no checkouts, customers scan grocery items with their smartphone and put them straight into their bag. Inspired by Amazon’s cashless store, the trail users SmartShop technology that allows users to scan an item on to their phone. Upon departure, customers scan a QR code to confirm their purchases and are then charged using Apple Pay.
The technology allows customers to avoid long waiting times at checkouts however checkout staff will not disappear entirely, some operators will still be present for customers who prefer a personal touch.
The trial is currently being held at only one of Sainsbury’s stores — Clapham North Station Local. 68 of Sainsbury’s store in the UK are already using the SmartShop technology however upon payment customers must present their phone at a designated till point. The new trail allows the customer to pay for their groceries anywhere in the store before they exit.
SmartShop has consistently been growing in popularity with over 100,000 SmartShop transactions registered each week. Supermarket technology is set to rise in the coming years with contactless payments predicted to increase to $2 trillion by 2020.
“Technology and changing customer shopping habits have transformed the way people buy their groceries. Our teams are constantly working hard to bring new convenient shopping experiences to customers, and we’re delighted to be the first grocery retailer in the UK to offer customers the ability to shop checkout-free. The latest version of SmartShop, with its new payment feature, will make it super quick for customers to get in and out of the store for those that want to scan, pay and go." Said Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury’s Group Chief Digital Officer.
The supermarket chain plans to use customer feedback from the trial to improve the contactless payment technology before launching it into other stores.