Independent stores usher in next-generation retail in the EU

A little over a decade ago, self-verification technology began to become mainstream in Europe.

Since then, the cashless retail experience has gained momentum in the region as self-service options are increasingly branching out into other retail segments. Pay-at-the-pump fuel-associated payment technologies and touchscreen fast-food ordering kiosks are becoming a familiar sight across the continent, bolstered by understaffing and short queues.

To elevate the self-checkout experience and improve the self-checkout experience, a number of companies have developed advanced artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solutions that hint at what the future of in-store retail might look like. exit booths.

Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology has been the leader in this regard, with the company rolling out the cashless technology in Amazon Fresh stores in the US and UK

See also: Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ Cashierless Technology Goes Big With New Grocery Store

Amazon’s smart grocery store uses an extensive network of sensors and artificial intelligence to track exactly what people are adding and removing items from their baskets in real time. When shoppers are ready to check out, their connected accounts are charged automatically, rather than having to physically check out with the cashier or use a self-service kiosk.

Smart checkout at Europe’s largest grocery chain

Carrefour, Europe’s largest grocery retailer, has also entered the AI-assisted shopping game.

The French multinational has launched its own smart payment system that uses a similar system of cameras and scanners to monitor what shoppers pick up from the shelves. Carrefour’s first ‘Flash 10/10’ concept store opened in Paris last year after experimenting with the technology at Carrefour City + in Mall of the Emirates.

Read more: Carrefour’s first digital expansion brings cashless technology to French shoppers

Where Flash 10/10 from Carrefour differs from other AI-powered payment solutions is that there are no barriers at the entrance to the store, and customers do not need to create an account or pre-configure an account with a connected card or bank account to be able to the store.

Shoppers who log in anonymously as a virtual person are tracked, making it easy for anyone to shop Flash 10/10 without a Carrefour account.

Rather than eliminating payment kiosks entirely as Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology does, Carrefour has kept the self-service payment terminals with traditional payment options, albeit in a more streamlined format.

Instead of customers having to scan each item individually, the kiosk already knows what they picked up, leaving the customer simply paying with their card, mobile wallet, or cash before leaving.

Related: German grocery chain Rewe opens an independent store in Berlin

In June, it was announced that Rewe, Germany’s second-largest food retail chain, and Israel-based computer vision firm Trigo, had launched a hybrid standalone grocery store with a no-checkout experience in Berlin, a year after launching their first single store in Berlin. Cologne city center.

In addition, earlier this year, Polish convenience giant Żabka Group announced that it had completed the opening of a chain of 25 stand-alone stores using AI contactless computer vision technology.

Other European supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury and Aldi are experimenting with some versions of artificial intelligence-based frictionless shopping technology, which is a strong indication that contactless, contactless, and independent commerce is ushering in the future of retail for European shoppers.

Putting Mobile Evolution on Computer Vision

Part of the reason self-checkout kiosks have taken so long to reach the mass market is the significant costs involved in purchasing the digital devices required to use this technology.

But German startup Nomitri is counting on a much cheaper middle step between the current European standard and the future of the fully automated shopping and payment experience.

The Berlin-based company, looking to revolutionize the point-of-sale market, provides physical retailers with a lightweight, low-cost asset withdrawal solution that shoppers can download to their mobile phones, without the need to install multiple cameras or sensors. In stores or supermarkets.

See also: Low-cost self-checkout system aims to disrupt the retail POS market

“We understand that retailers don’t have the money to invest up front in all of this infrastructure, nor do they have the time and sophistication in terms of IT departments to set up all of this,” Trinh Le-Fiedler told PYMNTS in an interview.

Read more: Biometric checkout in sight for UK shoppers

Much like the high-tech smart store model, Nomitri uses computer vision to automatically detect items without having to scan a barcode.

However, as the startup packs its AI technology into a mobile-friendly software solution, every retailer needs to attach smartphone holders to their shopping carts to enable customers to easily scan items using their mobile devices.

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