My local shop

Things are changing. Locally, an Aldi Shop& Go store has opened up on a high street near me. I feel like a trip to Greenwich is required to see for myself how the Aldi Shop&Go works.

According to my fellow editor Rodney Jack (Food & Drink Technology), customers can download the Aldi Shop&Go app, which will allow them to enter the store, pick up their items, and then simply walk out when they have completed their shop. Once a customer leaves the store they will then be automatically charged for their shopping via their selected payment method and a receipt will appear in the app.

The system, provided by technology provider AiFi, uses specially positioned cameras to detect which products customers have picked up, before charging them to their Aldi Shop&Go account when they leave the store.

Customers wishing to purchase alcohol, or other Challenge 25 (age dependent) products, will be able to use facial age estimation technology to authorise their purchase. This technology, provided by Yoti, enables customers to confirm their identity within seconds via the Aldi Shop&Go app. Those who opt to not use the system will instead be age verified by a store colleague.

Till-less can be useful for those categories where consumers conduct their own research – and shop according to their preferences. With preferences comes data, which at some point could add to the shopping experience. Customer insight and analytics can open up ideas for foods, ingredients to try, popular choices as well as new product development. It’s no longer a matter of just knowing what a customer has bought, but also how long they spent browsing aisles.

It does raise the question of how honest everyone will be, and when there are errors in the bill. I am sure there will be stories of people being double-charged for items they paused by, but didn’t actually purchase, and it requires a lot of camera technology to get all this right. Still, it is exciting and anything that makes the shopping trip easier and less stressful gets my vote. Thanks Rodney, for letting me know about this.

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