New Zealand Retailer Foodstuffs to Trial World-First Artificial Intelligence Shopping Solution

New Zealanders will be the first in the world to trail new artificial intelligence technology that brings the checkout to the trolley when they shop for groceries at a Foodstuffs store in coming months,

New Zealand-based artificial intelligence company IMAGR announced today that it’s upping the grocery game by launching its innovative solution SMARTCART to a Four Square store in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie.

The move comes as retailers around the globe look for ways to give consumers more streamlined methods and checkout-less options for shopping, including the recent launch of Amazon Go in Seattle.

The New Zealand store will be the flagship Foodstuffs retail outlet to trail SMARTCART, a computer vision technology retrofitted to shopping baskets and carts that recognises products as soon as they are placed inside, eliminating the need for barcode scanning, checkouts and queueing.

“We’re delighted Foodstuffs is the first retailer in the world that we’re partnering with to make this happen This is the first significant step in enhancing the way we do our grocery shopping here in New Zealand and abroad,” said IMAGR founder William Chomley.

“It’s great to see Foodstuffs embracing technology like this to empower customer experiences.”

To activate SMARTCART, shoppers simply download an app and link a payment method to their account. In store, they pair their smartphone with the shopping trolley or basket, and as they add products to their cart the items are recognised and appear on their phone’s virtual basket - removing traditional barcode scanning and the checkout process altogether.

“Personalisation and convenience are becoming industry norms, bricks and mortar is no exception, people want ease of access to products and to bypass queues. We’re focused on creating a hyper-personalised in-store experience that also includes an alternative method for checking out. SMARTCART provides another payment solution to retailers normal checkout and self-service offerings,” said Chomley.

Meanwhile, Foodstuffs North Island Chief Information Officer Peter Muggleston says brick and mortar retailers must embrace AI technologies to enhance customer experiences and ensure they lead the field in what they offer.

“We’re committed to giving Kiwi shoppers the best service, experiences and innovation. This technology will give consumers more options, reduced wait times and variety during their store visits, giving our staff more time to offer their advice and help in other ways,” said Muggleston.

“We’ll be encouraging everyone to come down to the store to give SMARTCART a go and see first-hand how this user-friendly technology will have a positive impact on our lives,” said Chomley.

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