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Woolworths Is Trialling Checkout-Free Shopping at One of Its Sydney Stores

Select customers can use a new app to self-scan and pay for groceries, avoiding checkouts completely.
By Libby Curran
September 06, 2018
  shares

Woolworths Is Trialling Checkout-Free Shopping at One of Its Sydney Stores

Select customers can use a new app to self-scan and pay for groceries, avoiding checkouts completely.
By Libby Curran
September 06, 2018
  shares

If you're lucky enough to count Woolworths' Double Bay store as your local, you might soon be in for speedier shopping trips and a whole lot less time spent battling the self-serve checkouts.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the supermarket chain will launch a trial of 'shop and go' technology in the Sydney eastern suburbs store from today, Thursday, September 6. The first of its kind in Australia, the program allows customers to dodge the checkouts completely, instead scanning and paying for products via their smartphone as they shop.

The new technology has already been embraced overseas, with retail giant Amazon famously opening its first checkout-free, fully automated shop-and-go grocery store in Seattle earlier this year, and China's bricks-and-mortar Alibaba stores using a similar technology.

The Woolworths trial will see a few thousand members of its loyalty program — who are also Double Bay regulars — invited to shop there using a special Scan&Go app, which they can download to their smartphones.

The customer can then use it to scan the barcodes of each item they take from the shelves, while specially-designed scales will handle the weighing and scanning of fresh produce. At the end of their visit, the shopper can pay for their haul via the app, 'tap off' on a pole near the exit, then leave the store — without interacting with either a human or robot checkout.

As well as being faster and, potentially, easier, the new technology has the added benefit of letting customers track their spending while they're going. So, you'll know when those $2 chocolate bars push you over budget.

There's no word on how long the Scan&Go trial will run for, and Woolworths says it currently has no plans to roll out the technology to other stores.

Published on September 06, 2018 by Libby Curran

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