Add another entry into the autonomous checkout market landscape. That would be tech developer UST partnering with Ahold Delhaize USA for a grab-and-go style self-checkout, first popularized by Amazon Go stores. Details are limited, but this is an AI-driven integration of sensors and cameras. Most autonomous checkout installation are in C-Store sized stores of about 2,000 square feet, with technology investment and installation costs being among merchants’ key decision factors.
Some larger retail footprints are being seen including Amazon Go Grocery and developer Grabango’s scalable installation with Giant Eagle supermarket in Pittsburgh. Autonomous checkout aligns very well with the contactless payment trend and self-checkout, especially in times of social distancing. Also, retail shoppers do not like waiting in line, so expect to see more autonomous checkout systems coming this year in the U.S. and globally.
The following excerpt from a Progressive Grocer article reports more on the topic:
The pandemic has shined the spotlight on so-called frictionless shopping, and now UST is the latest company to step into the part. The digital transformation solutions company has launched what it calls the UST Walk-In, Walk-Out frictionless shopping solution. As a result, customers get a seamless shopping experience that allows them to walk into a store, grab their items and immediately walk out.
The technology behind UST Walk-In, Walk-Out is a unified integration of artificial intelligence (AI), sensors and cameras working together to enable the core features. Customers enter the store by scanning a QR code in the mobile app, selecting desired items from the shelves, and thereafter exiting the store, receiving their digital receipt in a matter of seconds.
“It’s all about accessibility, convenience, and most importantly — safety,” said Mahesh Athalye, senior director and go-to-market leader of UST Walk-In, Walk-Out. “With the solution, profits can be maximized and customer experience improved — all as a result of the 24/7 access, and no checkout lines. UST Walk-In, Walk-Out empowers companies to drive and reap the rewards of new technology and its impact on their bottom lines.”
Piloted with Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, and another for a leading European grocery retailer, UST is implementing this end-to-end frictionless shopping solution for customers that include grocery retailers, convenience stores, cafeterias and grab-and-go food stores at airports and universities — in markets across the U.S., Asia and Europe. With the solution, retailers can integrate with other innovative retail technology solutions that UST offers such as UST Healthy Store, UST Chatbot and UST RapidCEL, among others.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group