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Sainsbury’s tests SmartShop in-store app

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Sainsbury’s is testing a new in-store app designed to enable shoppers to scan and check out their shopping without any need to queue at a till.

The SmartShop app is currently being put through its paces in two Sainsbury’s stores. There, shoppers can scan purchases, using a SmartShop handset, as they add them to their basket, before checking out their final shop from the handset. The test is as part of the supermarket’s launch of six trial stores that will roadtest new store designs in the light of changing shopper behaviour.

The stores are designed to cater for shoppers who are starting to move towards buying little and often in shorter visits. When the SmartShop app is fully up and running, it will enable shoppers to scan and build digital shopping lists at home before coming into the shop and following a map of the store that highlights the products they want to buy, and finally checking out through their mobile phone.

Other innovations being trialled include a range of different checkouts: as well as checking out through the app, shoppers can use from manned checkouts, self-checkout designed for use by people with small trolleys as well as one for people with baskets. Fresh food is also being placed conveniently for shoppers who just want to buy a few specific items.

Mike Coupe, chief executive at Sainsbury’s, a Model retailer in InternetRetailing’s IRUK500 research, said the trial was about seeing how far supermarkets could cater for shoppers with a range of different shopping missions. “No matter what customers are buying, we know that everyone wants to check out as quickly as possible and giving customers more checkout options to suit them is key to the trial,” he said. “The pilot stores will act as a barometer for feedback and we’re listening to what customers tell us along the way. This is very much a trial and we know that not everything will work, but certain elements are already proving very popular and we would hope to roll those out more widely where feedback is consistently positive.”

The six stores involved in the trial are Alperton, London; Devizes, Wiltshire; Emersons Green, Bristol; Harpenden, Hertfordshire; Morecambe, Lancashire and Tamworth, Staffordshire.

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