Established and startup companies are working on ways to streamline shopping
By NACS Online // January 23, 2019
Twelve months ago, Amazon opened its first Amazon Go cashierless convenience store. Today, startups and established companies are working on ways to replicate that success and streamline shopping, Bloomberg reports.
From startups like Mighty AI to retail giants like Walmart, self-checkout technology is hot right now. “What we are seeing is Silicon Valley at large, venture capital at large, trying to come up with some solutions” for merchants, said Steve Sarracino, founder of Activant Capital. “There will be a huge market” for this kind of technology.
AiFi built one such prototype, the NanoStore, which is a 160-square-foot store that’s a cross between a convenience store and a vending machine. Shoppers track what customers browse and pickup, and when leaving, they pay via an app or swipe a credit card. The French retailer Carrefour and the Polish convenience store chain Żabka will be testing AiFi’s technology.
Other retailers are experimenting with different ways the technology could be used in stores. For example, New York City grocer Foodcellar has Caper smart carts that allow customers to checkout while picking up products. “A frictionless experience is part of the future,” said Metin Mangut, store co-founder. “It will be a hybrid. Some people like the interaction. Some people don’t want to deal with anyone and just get what they want and leave.”