We added more information to this article on 28 July 2023.
Aldi Nord is simplifying shopping at its cashierless store in the Dutch city of Utrecht. Customers there no longer necessarily need the Aldi Shop & Go app to enter the store and pay. Unlike the Auchan Go store, recently opened in Warsaw with Trigo technology, customers can enter the Aldi Nord store without having to scan their payment card at the entrance. Anyone can enter the outlet without obstacles, Aldi Nord in the Netherlands has now explicitly confirmed in response to an enquiry from Retail Optimiser. Those who want to pay by card do so at the end of their shopping at a newly installed terminal.
Apparently, the company wishes to extend reach of the new store concept this way. Project manager Omar Sadaty explains that some customers were reluctant to download and use the app. In order to further optimise the system, the retailer is fulfilling its customers’ wishes. Now anyone can enter the store and pay by card and pin entry. In addition to debit and credit cards, the discounter also accepts Apple Pay as well as Google Pay.
Of course, customers can still check out with the Aldi Shop & Go app. The company promotes this as advantageous, as purchases are automatically settled via the payment method linked to the app. The app then generates a QR code that the customer can use to leave the store directly. It thus enables a faster checkout. Customers who pay by card must first visit a payment terminal equipped with a pin pad.
New function is reducing hurdles
The test will show whether the discounter can win more customers for autonomous shopping by this measure. For some shoppers, the use of the app certainly meant an additional hurdle. In order to shop autonomously in the outlet, they now no longer have to download the Shop & Go app onto their smartphone and register in the app. Also, some customers may have reservations about revealing their data when using the app. On the other hand, the retail company wants to learn as much as possible about the shopping behaviour of its customers.
It cannot be ruled out that dishonest visitors will try to exploit the system. To combat this, Auchan Polska, as reported by the Retail Optimiser, has set up special rules for using the concept: For example, if customers do not return an item to its exact shelf location, their bank card will be charged. This also applies to products they pass on to other people. If more than one person enters the store with one bank card, it will be charged for all the goods taken by the group members. Shoppers should also make sure that they close the door of the store after shopping so that their bank card is not charged with the items that subsequent people take from the shelves.
So far, no such special rules of conduct are known for the Aldi store in Utrecht. Certainly, depending on the location, operators must weigh up which hurdles they erect for shopping in cashier less stores. Greater reach and additional sales potential are offset by a higher risk of inventory losses.