Sobeys Smart Cart will enhance the overall in-store shopping experience
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 23, 2019 /CNW/ - Sobeys is bringing the first intelligent shopping cart to Canadian grocery stores with the launch of the Sobeys Smart Cart, an innovative technology-enhanced shopping cart that provides customers with a highly-engaging, fun and fast way to shop.
Canada's Family Grocery Store is piloting the Sobeys Smart Cart beginning today at the grocer's Glen Abbey Sobeys location in Oakville, Ontario. The Sobeys Smart Cart aims to enhance the in-store shopping experience with a focus on improving one of the greatest points of customer friction – in-store checkout lineups.
The cart's groundbreaking technology scans and weighs products as customers place them in the cart, displays a running tally of purchases while the customer shops, and allows customers to pay on the spot with the cart. No waiting, no line-ups.
"While products and customer eating habits have evolved, the in-store grocery shopping experience has remained relatively static for the last 100 years." said Mathieu Lacoursiere, Vice President, Retail Support at Sobeys Inc. "This is a unique way for us to test innovative new technologies aimed at enhancing the customer shopping experience and learn how best to make it faster and easier. The carts will also give our in-store teammates more time to interact with customers and answer questions about food and new products."
Equipped with AI and machine learning technology, the cart will continually evolve to improve beyond a speedy checkout. The cart's easy-to-read screen will eventually help customers navigate the store to complete a shopping list, highlight great-value promotions and make product suggestions to round out a favourite recipe. This pilot is part of Sobeys' customer-focused innovation approach to learn and continuously improve through customer feedback.
The cart will also evolve from "scanning" product, to "identifying" product. The Sobeys Smart Cart includes multiple high-resolution cameras that capture 120 images per second as product is placed in the cart, which allows the cart to learn how to identify each grocery item. Supported by the cart's sensitive weight measures, customers will eventually be able to toss their items into the cart without having to enter any information or scan barcodes.
"Sobeys is an innovative grocer with a strong focus on enhancing the shopper experience," comments Ahmed Beshry, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of Caper, the technology partner behind the Sobeys Smart Cart. "The Sobeys Team has incredible execution capabilities. When retailers are able to pick up a new technology and execute quickly, it creates the right environment for rapid innovation."
With the Smart Cart and other initiatives, Sobeys is striving to improve customers' in-store experiences through the use of innovative new technologies and applications. Research shows that 52 per cent of Canadians feel their current in-store shopping experience would significantly improve if they were able to quickly and conveniently navigate the store1.
"The best Canadian brands aim to be world-class by thinking ahead and placing bets on unique innovations," Lacoursiere adds. "We're constantly looking for new ways to evolve the grocery shopping experience. During the Smart Cart pilot, we will engage with our customers in real time to better understand what inspires them and adds value to their shopping experience throughout the store."
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians since 1907. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, Farm Boy and Lawton's Drug Stores as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations. Sobeys, its franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 123,000 people. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.
Caper is a New York-based retail technology company focused on bringing innovative and pragmatic solutions to retail partners. The company's first product, the Caper Smart Cart, is a smart shopping cart powered by deep learning and computer vision that identifies items as they are added to the basket. Caper Smart Carts provide tailored shopper recommendations through an interactive screen and guide a shopper through their entire journey. Caper's autonomous checkout technology is plug-and-play for retailers, requiring no in-store renovation, operational overhauls or costly infrastructure. Caper has raised more than $13 million in funding to date with backing from investors including Lux Capital, First Round Capital, and
Source: 2019 Canadian Consumer Insights Survey, PwC Canada
SOURCE Sobeys Inc.
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