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Salling Groups Netto tests smart shopping trolleys from Imagr

Danish Salling Group is testing digital shopping trolleys from the New Zealand start-up Imagr in five stores of its discount banner operation Netto. The retail company is the first in Europe which uses the solution of this provider. The vision recognition-based identification of the products is linked in real time with shoppers’ smartphones.

To shop with this technology, customers at Netto Denmark have to install the Netto+ app where they can store there their preferred payment method. At the beginning of the shopping trip, they need to connect their smartphone with the shopping trolley by scanning a QR code that is attached to the cart.

As the customer fills his shopping trolley with products, the items are captured via four cameras located on the inside of the cart. Imagr’s software identifies with image recognition and AI technology automatically each item as it is placed inside. It is then added in real time to the customer’s digital shopping basket on the smartphone. Products which customers takes out of the shopping trolley are automatically booked out by the system in the same way.

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Thanks to the available product data, customers always have control over their shopping basket and can, for example, also view the total discount of their purchase. The customers receive a barcode on the smartphone when they finish their shopping. With this, they can make the payment directly via smartphone with the payment function of the self-scanning app Netto Scan&Go and receive their receipt digitally. Alternatively, they can also use the barcode to pay for the purchase at any other checkout.

“We hope that by using the smart shopping trolleys, we will gain more time to offer our customers an even better service in the stores,” said Braw Bakir, CEO of Netto, in a press release. For the products to be recognised automatically, the image data of every single product in Salling Groups Netto’s entire range of goods is digitally captured in advance.

The Netto+ app uses this data in real time while the customer is shopping. If the retailer does not have its own app, the Imagr app can be used as an alternative. To operate the digital shopping trolley, the retailer needs a charging station, a desktop-sized server, and an imaging station to capture items.

As an alternative to shopping with the client’s smartphone, the trolley can also be equipped by the retailer with attached tablets. It is also possible to upgrade existing shopping carts with the necessary Imagr technologies to keep the acquisition costs as low as possible. At Netto Denmark, customers can now test the smart shopping cart in all five pilot stores in Kirkegårdsvej and Kongelundsvej (Copenhagen), in Runevej (Aarhus), Bybuen (Skovlunde) and in Virum.

Another live test of Imagr’s new technology is currently taking place at a first Oasis Nakanoshima store in Osaka, Japan. It is 850 square metres in size and offers 8,000 SKUs. Customers can try out smart shopping baskets with the same technology instead of smart shopping carts. Unlike Netto, customers in this pilot store use the Imagr app. The test store belongs to the Japanese retail conglomerate H2O, which operates around 150 Oasis and Izumiya supermarkets.

The Retail Optimiser gives an overview of smart shopping trolleys that retailers are testing

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Regina Wagner

Regina Wagner has several years of professional experience in retail and in management consultancies. After her apprenticeship in retail trade at grocery company Tegut, she completed a dual degree in business administration with a specialisation in retailing parallel to her work in management teams at various stores of the company. After her time at Tegut, she joined Deloitte Consulting as a management consultant delivering national and international projects. Her consulting focus was on process optimisation, project management and purchasing. Following her time at Deloitte, Regina Wagner worked in market research and project management at Edeka Nordbayern-Sachsen-Thüringen. Through her qualification as retail merchandiser, Regina Wagner has in-depth knowledge of grocery retailing.

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