Since July, Edeka independent shopkeeper Darius Kutz is offering its customers the ‘most modern shopping trolley in the world’ at a store in Porta Westfalica, in the North-West of Germany, reports Tag 24. The shopkeeper decided to make the trolley a permanent fixture due to the success of the technology. The trolley is equipped with a digital screen and a scanning device to make the shopping experience fast and convenient.
Customers can prepare a shopping list using the ‘Easy Shopper’ app (from Pentland Firth Software GmbH) and upload the list to the shopping trolley by scanning a QR-code. The trolley then provides the customer with the ideal path through the store to save time. Products can be scanned with the device, which is mounted on an ‘arm’ of the trolley. At the end of the trip, the shopper can then pay at a dedicated checkout without the need to remove items, as the trolley is weighed.
The grocery shopper's dream has become reality: the perfect shopping route, provided by the retailer. The advantages are obvious: customers can save a lot of time and avoid walking down unnecessary aisles and there is no need to search the shelves. The easy way of finishing the shopping trip with a rapid checkout makes the experience even more convenient. Also, the retailer can benefit from the technology by collecting data from the shopping lists. The Edeka independent is prominently promoting the smart shopping trolley on its website to raise awareness. The more people use it, the more data the retailer can collect.
However, the smart shopping trolley has its downsides: suppliers may not be pleased with this installation. Every step that the customer can save means that they pass by fewer promotions which may have otherwise attracted their attention. Additionally, the customer is permanently looking at the screen and not the surroundings. This problem could be solved by highlighting promotions directly to the screen on the customer’s trolley, customised and based on their location instore. The golden rule here is not to overdo the promotions so that the customer does not get annoyed.
This installation also goes against the current strategy of most bricks and mortar stores: to offer the shopper an outstanding experience in the store. Otherwise, what is the difference to shopping from the couch? When customers just follow their shopping trolley without taking notice of nice gondola ends and promotions from FMCG companies, they could also just go online and let their orders be delivered to their home. One might argue that customers still want to choose their fresh products such as fruit and vegetables. Et voilà, Amazon is currently developing its scanning technology for produce which is programmed to detect perished and damaged products. No need to go to the store again! Stores want to differentiate from the Amazons of this world, but with this approach this Edeka independent might have lost sight of this goal.