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Sainsbury’s developing a mobile app for checkout less shopping

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Sainsbury’s is set to introduce checkout-less shopping with a new mobile app as part of the retailer’s mission to deliver innovations that keep up with ever-changing customer shopping habits.

The phenomenon which was originally launched by Amazon Go store in Seattle – and is also currently being trialled by Co-op and Budgens in the UK and MediaMarktSaturn in Austria – is being developed by Sainsbury’s in-house experts to remove the need for customers to queue at checkouts, resulting in a seamless and faster shopping.

The smartphone app is still a work in progress, but was previously trialled at Sainsbury’s London Euston station store with shoppers who purchased the supermarket’s £3 ‘on the go’ meal-deal, which consists of a sandwich or salad, side and a drink. Consumers involved in the experiment were asked to download the app to their smartphones and scan their three items of choice from the meal-deal incentive, before paying within the app itself and walking out the brick-and-mortar store.

“We are always looking for new ways to help our customers live well – and saving customers time is one way we can do so,” says Natalie Dunn, Sainsbury’s head of customer experience. “Experimenting with a checkout-free experience is a first for Sainsbury’s and for many of our customers, so we are keen to understand how we can take the concept and develop an offering that is genuinely useful for those who shop with us. We may be some way off from rolling this out – but we’re excited to have taken the first step.”

Sainsbury’s has made significant investments in technological innovations this year, syndicating omnichannel tools that simultaneously serve both in the brick-and-mortar stores and online in an endeavour offer its clientele a service they desire.

“At present, we’re 30% online, and, in fact, we believe that shoppers want to go in and shop in the physical stores,” says Simon Roberts, retail and operations manager Sainsbury’s.

This has been demonstrative in the launch of Sainsbury’s SmartShop service which offers shoppers to scan products using an in-store handset or a mobile phone as they doing their shopping at dedicated checkout. The retailer plans to expand this SmartShop across its physical stores in London and promises to create this service in close to 50 stores by the end of the year.

Read all about InternetRetailing staff writer Sasha Fedorenko‘s site tour at Sainsbury’s brand new Redhill store here

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