How does SMARTCART work?
IMAGR uses their proprietary technology to sit behind camera’s that are retrofitted onto trolleys and baskets. To activate SMARTCART, shoppers simply download an app and link a payment method to their account. In store, they pair their smartphone with a unique QR code on the SMARTCART shopping cart, and as they add products to their cart the items appear on their phone’s virtual basket – removing traditional barcode scanning and the checkout process altogether.
How is SMARTCART different to Amazon Go?
SMARTCART is a very different offering to Amazon Go. To start with, Amazon Go is a custom-built store fitted out with hundreds of cameras, tracking devices, sensors and facial recognition technology to see what customers take off the shelf (and place back). It pairs with an app on their phone and customers simply walk out of the store after shopping and their bank account is automatically charged upon exit.
Other retailers would need to build a store from scratch to operate Amazon Go and it’s a solution we believe Amazon will own exclusively and roll out to its Whole Foods network of stores.
SMARTCART is different in that it uses small cameras retrofitted to existing supermarket trolleys/carts/baskets which identify each product as they are being placed in, or removed from, the basket/trolley. The basket/trolley is paired to the shopper’s smartphone through our app and a rolling receipt is held on the smartphone app. Shoppers are charged once they walk through IMAGR’s in-store designated payment processing area. Essentially, IMAGR is bringing the point of sale to basket/trolley, which reduces the need for complex software and hardware architectures.
SMARTCART can be integrated with the existing infrastructure in existing stores – this means retailers don’t need to build a new store and they can adopt SMARTCART easily.
Will AI in retail lead to job losses in the industry?
We are committed to enhancing the customer experience and our vision is that retail staff currently working in checkout operator roles will be redeployed in other roles throughout the store. They will be able to assist with other important roles such as operating the deli, stacking shelves (un-stocked shelves result in a 9 percent revenue loss in supermarkets) and making the store more efficient by roaming to help customers out. We want to create a more market-like feel for customers once they are in the store.
IMAGR’s SMARTCART is not a replacement to the checkout, it’s simply an ‘alternative’ method for checking out. We are giving customers more options by adding a third payment solution to the retailers’ already normal checkout and self-serve counters. This is intended to make the way we shop smarter. With SMARTCART retailers can give consumers more options, and in the stores where they decide to move staff from checkouts staff will be able to offer advice and help customers in the shop in other ways.
Does SMARTCART encourage sustainability?
Yes, when shoppers use SMARTCART trolleys and carts, which are retrofitted to existing trolleys and carts in supermarkets, they can clip in their own reusable shopping bags to each trolley or cart. IMAGR will be providing their own bags to everyone that uses SMARTCART – they are made from a plant-based material, making them 100% biodegradable and reusable.
What if shoppers don’t have a smartphone or prefer to pay at a checkout?
SMARTCART is not going to be the only option in stores. Customers can still opt to pay at a checkout or visit a self-service checkout. SMARTCART simply provides another payment solution in addition to the normal checkout and self-service offerings on offer. SMARTCART is an ‘alternative’ method for checking out.
What do I do with weighted items?
We ask that customers weigh loose products themselves and show the barcode to the cameras in their basket/trolley and then place the items in the basket/trolley just as they would do with any other item in store.
What if your smartphone battery goes flat half way around the store?
Once a session has started IMAGR doesn’t need to access your phone, as long as the customer paired at the start they can keep the session rolling. However, the customer will just loose visibility of their rolling receipt and the additional benefits such as being guided around the store for ingredients. A store representative can also transfer the cart to a normal checkout and payment can be made there if they wish.
What happens if you are in the supermarket and for some reason you have to leave urgently, and you just leave your trolley and exit?
There will be a manual intervention through IMAGR’s backend, a store representative can just cancel the contents and receipt if they see someone abandon a trolley.
If I lose my phone or it gets stolen what’s to stop someone else using my phone at the supermarket with smartcart?
Customers have a pin code/password to log in. Customers can also opt to have password protection when it comes time to pay, if they want the two-factor authentication.
How do you physically check out using your smartphone/what is the final transaction?
Stores will have a SMARTCART express lane – so when the trolley or basket enters that lane the session is cut off and the transaction is taken.
What happens if your bank account goes into overdraft/declines the transaction due to insufficient funds?
The retailer will be notified, and you will be stopped at the exit. It is similar to what happens now.