Albertsons Companies will launch cart-based smart checkout technology later this year at select supermarkets throughout the country, in partnership with Veeve Smart Carts. The carts use computer vision to identify items by extracting visual features (including barcodes) of the items placed within them, and a built-in scale calculates totals for produce.
Shoppers can check in with their telephone number and use the cart-mounted touchscreen to view the total as they add items to the cart. The screen also can display order histories from previous shopping trips, and shoppers can scan and pay with credit cards rather than using manned or unmanned checkout lanes.
“Veeve Smart Carts offer a sophisticated, yet simple self-checkout experience for people who value flexibility and time savings,” said Alyse Wuson, Senior Director of Omni Experiences at Albertsons Cos. in a statement. “Our goal is to enhance the grocery experience no matter how our guests choose to shop, and Veeve’s technology brings the ease and integration of ecommerce right to the grocery cart.”
Albertsons began testing the carts at two stores in California and Idaho in November 2021, according to CNBC, and the retailer’s eventual goal is to deploy them in dozens of its stores. Veeve noted that no retrofit is required for use of its Smart Carts, as the platform integrates into existing mobile apps and ad networks. Additionally, the solution will be integrated with the Albertsons for U loyalty program.
“This deployment is an important and inevitable next step in connecting the consumer’s ecommerce activity with a totally new, digitally driven in-store shopping experience,” said Shariq Siddiqui, Co-founder and CEO of Veeve in a statement. “Working with Albertsons Cos., we are building a link between multiple consumer channels and the brands they trust while keeping customer loyalty central to the experience.”
Smart cart technology has been gaining momentum in the grocery space as consumers began returning to stores last year, following the COVID-19 boom of supermarket delivery services. Grocers such as Kroger adopted Caper AI technology in January 2021 for the launch of its KroGO-branded smart carts. In October 2021, online grocery platform Instacart moved deeper into supermarket technology with the acquisition of Caper.