21 September 2020: Countdown is
testing out a contactless Scan&Go service where hi-tech
scales know what you’re buying and customers can skip the
regular checkout for an easy in-store shopping
experience.

Available from today at Countdown’s busy
Ponsonby store in Auckland, Scan&Go lets customers shop
via an app – scanning, bagging and paying for their
groceries all from their smartphone. Specially-designed
scales in the produce area use image recognition to identify
which type of fresh fruit and vegetables customers choose,
including letting you know if you’ve left your keys or
phone on the scales, or telling the difference between
different types of apples.

Countdown’s General
Manager Brand and CountdownX, Sally Copland, says customers
are looking for innovation to help make shopping easier,
faster and at the moment, contactless.

“Buying
groceries is one of the few universal basic needs, and while
online shopping continues to grow fast, the majority of
Kiwis still visit a supermarket in person at least once a
week, and often more. Just like the online space, in-store
customers are looking for innovation too,” says Sally
Copland.

“At the moment there’s an understandable
focus on physical distancing and minimising contact, but
even without that, the option to have your bags in the
trolley as you shop reduces time spent shopping which is
particularly handy for customers popping in and out, or if
you’re like me and juggling kids who tend to get restless
once it’s time to head for the
checkout.”

Customers using the app can pack
groceries straight into their bags as they go, doing away
with double handling; exit the store with a QR-coded receipt
through a dedicated lane, and keep a running total to help
stay on budget.

“This trial is not only about
testing our new tech, but seeing how our customers respond
to a new style of shopping. Scan&Go will give us some
real insight into how Kiwis want to shop and how we can
continue to make that easy for them,” says Sally
Copland.

“While many people might still see tech
like AI in the realm of science fiction, the scales are a
great example of how technology can improve our everyday
lives and save us time.”

Countdown Ponsonby was
selected partially due to the lunchtime crowd it attracts,
however overseas trials using similar technology have also
proven popular with customers doing bigger
shops.

Scan&Go is one of a number of tech
innovations Countdown’s digital arm, CountdownX, is
working on to enable customers to better shop how they want
and respond to increased demand.

These include
overhauling its myCountdown app to simplify the online
shopping process nationwide; introducing Olive the chatbot
to help with 3000 daily customer conversations

online;
launching Kai the safety robot at Countdown Rototuna;
developing a Priority Assistance online shopping service;
rolling our Countdown Pharmacy online, and opening the
country’s first dedicated eStore in Auckland. eStores are
also planned for Grenada North in Wellington and Moorhouse
in
Christchurch.

© Scoop Media

 

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2020-09-20 22:06:00
Image credit: source