Amazon’s recent announcement that its Just Walk Out tech is going to be put to use at Whole Foods stores confirms that cashierless is the next big retail tech trend grocery stores and shoppers will be embracing in the years to come.
Whole Foods Market will be opening two stores in 2022 equipped with Just Walk Out. Both of these stores are smaller than is typical for the retailer, intended as a testing ground for tech-savvy Amazon shoppers who want a quick and convenient way to pick up fresh groceries, prepared foods, and last-minute purchases. The stores are smaller also because Just Walk Out uses computer vision to sense when shoppers take an item off the shelf, instead of other self-service options such as smart carts or mobile and self-checkout, where products are scanned.
Smart carts have similar technology but function more like a grab-and-go self-checkout, where sensors scan items and shoppers pay for purchases through an app or card reader. In addition to facilitating quick self-service checkout, smart carts also can enhance the in-store shopping experience, providing product information, promotions and recommendations.
While these technologies might not be mainstream yet, cashierless tech is a sign of the future of retail, and a growing number of consumers are looking for more self-service choices. The pandemic changed how consumers shop, with e-commerce, self-checkout, delivery, and pickup becoming part of everyday life. Many of today’s shoppers favor a streamlined in-store shopping experience. Even prior to the pandemic, 75% of consumers reported wanting more self—service technology, including both self-checkout and mobile tools.
During the pandemic, this number spiked to nearly 90% of consumers indicating a preference for self-checkout and touch-free ways to shop. Grocery stores can meet shoppers’ demands for quick and convenient ways to shop today by maximizing self-checkout options as part of a comprehensive retail solution built with adaptability for the future in mind.
Need to add self-checkout or other streamlined shopping tools to your store? At STCR, we help grocery stores pick the right technology—not just for today’s needs, but also with a keen eye to future demands. Learn more about how our smart retail solutions help you take your shopping experience to the next level.