Taking a page from Amazon Go’s autonomous store checkout model, C-store chain 7-Eleven is trying out its own cashierless checkout at its Texas headquarters location. Amazon Go field-tested its store with company employees as a way to demonstrate proof of concept, before being open to the public.
7-Eleven also has a mobile app scan-and-go in-store system that integrates with its customer loyalty program. Several autonomous checkout developers, including AiFi, Grabango, and Zippin are planning and/or implementing their own versions. Key challenges for autonomous checkout are systems costs and scalability of store size. 2020 will see more of these stores beyond Amazon Go that will give more insight on the cost viability for merchants that try autonomous checkout.
A Retail Dive article, excerpted below, reports more on the topic:
On Wednesday, 7-Eleven announced that it is testing a cashierless store at its corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas. The 700 square-foot store is available to 7-Eleven employees and features various popular products sold in stores, including snacks, groceries, food and beverages.
The company has implemented multiple proprietary algorithms and predictive technology to distinguish customers and their purchases from others in the store, the company said in a press release.
To shop at the store, 7-Eleven employees download an app, sign up, check in at the store, shop and leave. Afterward, shoppers will receive a detailed receipt via the app.
The debut of the cashierless store is the latest tech component 7-Eleven has introduced into its operations. As the company notes in its announcement, the retailer launched its mobile checkout feature and the 7NOW delivery service. The company also announced in September that it was providing franchisees with Microsoft 365 and Power BI to analyze their overall performance.
“Introducing new store technology to 7-Eleven employees first has proven to be a very productive way to test and learn before launching to a wider audience. They are honest and candid with their feedback, which enables us to learn and quickly make adjustments to improve the experience,” Mani Suri, 7-Eleven senior vice president and CIO, said in a statement.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group