Welcome to a new year… and to another edition of Friday Fuse! We’re continuing our series on “Top Trends Retailers Must Embrace in 2022.” So far, we’ve talked about two crucial pieces to the puzzle: how to keep a healthy balance of in-store & online retail and one-stop shopping.
This week, we’re going to dive into the future of checkout (and check-in).
Traditionally, most of us would think of an in-store purchase process as entering a store, perusing through the options, colors, and sizes. When we’re ready, we enter the checkout line and wait our turn to hand over our merch to a cashier and pay.
Seems pretty simple, right? Well, what if we removed the one thing that slows us all down… the checkout?
This isn’t necessarily a new concept. In 2016, Amazon announced Amazon Go, a brick-and-mortar store featuring various technologies to eliminate the checkout. The first store opened in 2018.[i] In 2020, Circle K announced plans to retrofit select locations for check-out free shopping in Tempe, Arizona. This year, the company plans to expand the tech to six more stores in Tucson. [ii]
Now, BP is hopping onto the cashierless train. The company will test the technology at ten locations in the middle of 2022, with plans to have over 7,000 cashierless locations. And, of course, Amazon isn’t slowing down, either. Its “Just Walk Out” technology will be installed at two Whole Foods locations in Washington D.C. and California sometime this year.
So, what does this look like? 10 years ago, we may have assumed cashierless tech would just focus on taking out the people and using the self-checkout systems we’ve come to know at retailers like Home Depot, Walmart, and Kroger. Now, cashierless checkout is as simple as logging into an app or grabbing a fancy smart cart, finding the items you need, and walking right back out.
Talk about easy, right? This tech has become particularly beneficial in light of Covid. These past two years have taught us that sometimes, less is more, especially when it comes to people touching our things.
There is a lot that is required behind the scenes for this to happen. We’re talking some seriously cool AI technology: computer vision and cameras that track you throughout the store as you pick up and put things back, look at different brands, bag it all up, then leave. And though human cashiers are no longer required, there is a lot of in-person support still needed for the customer AND for the technology.
Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! The idea of tossing out a system that has been used for hundreds of years is daunting. But there are some amazing tech companies that are at the forefront of this checkout revolution: Supersmart, Imagr, and WalkOut all do some type of smart shopping cart. Trigo, Grabandgo, and Amazon retrofit stores with the cameras and computer vision to achieve frictionless checkout.[iii]
And when it comes to installation and preventative maintenance, Rogers is ready and waiting! We are licensed in 48 states and stand as the largest self-performing electrical contractor nationwide. We specialize in providing management, labor, materials, and equipment to install and maintain whatever solutions you choose!
Check out some of the amazing work we’ve done for companies all over the U.S.
Have questions? Not sure where we can help? Contact us – we’ll figure it out together!