Rewe Group trials digital shopping trolleys with Catch – without self-scanning

At the Rewe Center in Cologne-Bickendorf of independent merchants Daniel and Boris Dugandzic, Rewe Digital has installed special tablet computers on around half of all 220 shopping trolleys to guide customers through the store. The system from Israeli provider Catch allows digital and handwritten shopping lists to be scanned via the camera on the back and shows customers the best route through the two-storey hypermarket.

However, the devices are currently not used for self-scanning, for which customers still have to use the Zebra devices or their own smartphone. Goods can be scanned with the tablets, but so far only to call up additional product information.


Rewe’s most important competitor, Edeka Group, has one of two different shopping trolley systems – from Pentland Firth or KBST – in use at over 300 locations, both of which are able to make the self-scanning checkout process more secure against theft and fraud using trolleys in the shopping trolley. The Retail Optimiser reported on experiences with the trolley of Pentland Firth at Edeka Minden-Hannover.

Matching offers while shopping

In the project, Rewe is also testing personalised offers for customers via the tablet computers. The Catch solution learns the shopping routes, but without permanently storing personal data. Based on the data, the system predicts the route through the store and suggests suitable products in real time. In future, Rewe would also like to display recipes on the devices.

“We know the wishes and shopping habits of our store’s customers very well and can manage the product range accordingly. With this pilot project, we want to go one step further and check whether we can gain even better insights and offer customers even more service,” explains Boris Dugandzic, who runs the Rewe centre together with his brother, in a press release.

Test initially for four months

The project is currently being trialled as a pilot in Cologne-Bickendorf and will initially run for four months. It will then be analysed to see how customers react to the offer and a decision will then be made on whether to continue using the tablets.

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Björn Weber

Björn Weber has been a journalist, analyst and consultant specialising in the retail and consumer goods industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Fourspot, which is publishing The Retail Optimiser, Björn Weber headed the international analyst group LZ Retailytics. Previously, he was Research Director Retail Technology and Head of Planet Retail in Germany. Before that, Björn Weber was editor for IT & logistics topics at Lebensmittel Zeitung for eight years. Björn Weber is a member of the jury of the Retail Technology Award (Reta Europe) of the EHI. He is a regular speaker at events of the EHI, the NRF, industry media and the Consumer Goods Forum.

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