Coop Danmark is to introduce its combined mobile scanning and payment app, Bip & Betal to all its Fakta discount stores in 2018. Coop Executive Vice President Jan Madsen told the Danish newspaper Finans that its discount banner is the perfect choice for the retailer’s first full-scale roll-out of the service. The Fakta stores have smaller average baskets than supermarkets and convenience is an important competitive factor, according to Madsen.
The Bip & Betal app is available to the consumer cooperative’s members only. Shoppers scan a QR-code by the entrance of the store and then proceed by scanning the barcodes of items they wish to buy using their smartphone camera. To check out they can choose to pay through the app or at the till.
The service has already been trialled by the Danish grocery leader in selected Superbrugsen supermarkets and Kvickly superstores. There, shoppers could also opt to use handheld scanners provided by the entrance of the stores instead of their own smartphones.
What makes Fakta stand out is its small sales areas (averaging 600 sq m), wide range of convenience meals and fresh bakery items. Instead of striving to become a main shopping destination like many of its peers, the banner continuously adapts to become the best alternative for top-up and impulse shopping. Self-scanning adds to this convenience proposal and gets the image across of a modern and shopper friendly discount chain. Shoppers can swing by for a salad and be out within a minute, skipping the line altogether.
While mobile self-scanning is a new service in Danish grocery retail, it’s being offered by several large retailers in other countries. The smartphone version hasn’t been as fully embraced as using handheld scanners but is still being offered by a number of retailers such as Ahold, Ica Gruppen and Waitrose. In general, it could be said that it has been piloted by many but rarely rolled out to such a degree that Fakta, with its over 400 stores, is now doing.
On the other hand, Coop is combining self-scanning with other functions such as payment, access to its loyalty programme and shopping lists, which separates it from most failed attempts in the past. This might be just the thing that’s needed to convince shoppers of the service’s advantages. And once they start using the Coop branded app regularly, it’s very likely their loyalty to all the retailer’s banners will increase.