Report • 06.07.2020

“Dear shopping cart, please show me the way!“

Shopping Cart 2.0 – gimmick or idea with intrinsic value?

Not all shopping carts are the same... far from it! Digitization and automation also put their stamp on this aspect of the retail sector. What’s usually a plain, large basket on wheels that makes it easier for shoppers to transport products throughout the store might soon become a smart shopping companion. iXtenso took a closer look at the latest trends.

Autonomous driving: A DFKI project

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) studies the shopping cart of the future. The objective is an autonomous shopping cart. This means a self-driving shopping cart that can follow consumers around the store or ideally leads in front and navigates its way to the desired products. Several challenges must still be mastered before the cart is reliable in its operation.

The cart needs to be linked to the respective shopper before it can follow behind or alongside during the shopping trip. "Depending on the applied sensor technology, the link can be established via optical sensors or by connecting to the customer's smartphone," explains Frederic Kerber, Head of the Innovative Retail Laboratory (IRL) at DFKI.

Reliable navigation

If the shopping cart is meant to reliably navigate shoppers, it must be able to plot the route to the desired products. To do this, the cart needs accurate product position data, a map of the store, and real-time information about its own position. "The use of indoor positioning technology can be a reliable solution in this setting, while other approaches use sensors inside the shopping cart to solve this issue," says Kerber.

The biggest challenge when it comes to navigation is how to manage random and moving obstacles. In retail scenarios, this applies to both employees and customers who walk around the retail store. According to Kerber, the technology is not yet mature enough to avoid collisions or minor crashes 100% of the time, which is why the shopping cart cannot be found in stores just yet.

Transport robot

DFKI also collaborates with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Europe (KIST Europe) as part of the German-Korean cooperation project “WALL-ET - Warehouse Autonomous Lean Logistics Entity for Transportation". The goal is to develop a transport robot with a height-adjustable table for ergonomic loading and unloading that is intended for both industry and retail purposes.

The system would make it possible to easily load, unload, and transport heavy items such as furniture or large pallets. Another conceivable option is to add a robotic arm able to autonomously grab items off the shelf and place them inside the shopping cart. Apart from the required technology, the project also aims to develop the necessary software. The idea is to facilitate seamless human-robot interaction.

Ein freistehender grauer Einkaufswagen mit Display
Source: Caper

Already in full action: the smart cart by Caper

The smart self-checkout cart made by the American company Caper is not a research project, but a real application. The company’s “Smart Cart” instantly catches your eye thanks to a touchscreen monitor, built-in barcode scanner and payment terminal located right at the customer’s eye level in the space, where you might typically find a child seat.

GPS and self-scanning

The "Smart Cart" combines self-scanning, self-checkout, and navigation options. The monitor displays a map of the store, helping customers navigate to the desired product. Localization is made possible by sensors, which are installed throughout the store. Customers also get information about sales, products and even recipes via the display.

Customers can use the built-in barcode scanner to scan their items. Integrated sensors detect items inside the cart or identify whether they have been removed again. Unpackaged items such as produce are weighed right inside the cart.

There is no need to register with a smartphone or customer card to use the smart carts. Customers only need a credit card or smartphone to pay directly using the cart thanks to the built-in payment terminal. Just one slight drawback: the carts don’t accept cash payments at this point.

A better shopping experience

Several grocery chains in the U.S. and Canada have used the Smart Cart technology since early 2019. “Customers enjoy an improved shopping and payment experience in stores that use our smart carts. On average, customers buy 18 percent more per visit, while shoppers give us a 9.1 out of 10 rating,” says Lindon Gao, CEO of Caper.

Customer satisfaction, increased sales – clearly a development that garners added benefits from both a retail and customer perspective. And what about the DFKI projects? Transport robots, robotic arms, and autonomous shopping carts could offer great support where customers need physical assistance - whether that’s because of physical disabilities or simply because the products are too heavy or bulky to lift and carry.

In conclusion: There is great untapped potential even in places that may at first glance seem insignificant to the shopping experience.

Author: Sonja Koller

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Checkout-free service at Giant Eagle’s GetGo Café+Market store...
07.09.2020   #self-checkout systems #app

Checkout-free service at Giant Eagle’s GetGo Café+Market store

Retrofitting an existing store

Grabango announced the launch of commercial service with one of its retail partners, Giant Eagle, Inc, owner of GetGo Café+Market. Grabango’s checkout-free system is now available to save shoppers time by letting them skip the line. The ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New SALTO Neo Cylinder Microsite
11.09.2020   #access control #access control systems

New SALTO Neo Cylinder Microsite

Overview of main features and benefits

To enable potential users to discover more about its SALTO Neo electronic cylinder SALTO Systems, a leading manufacturer of electronic access control solutions, has launched a new microsite dedicated to the product.The compact SALTO Neo Cylinder is ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New chain of toy stores in strong collaboration...
29.09.2020   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

New chain of toy stores in strong collaboration

Kids Coolshop is booming with new toys stores in a pressured market where competition is fierce

The chain has started installing electronic shelf labels in its physical stores. The electronic price tags are linked to a strong e-commerce engine and must help ensure competitive prices across all channels.Kids Coolshop was launched in 2017 ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retail Asia Conference & Expo 2020 rescheduled to 11-13 November...
18.09.2020   #online trading #retail

Retail Asia Conference & Expo 2020 rescheduled to 11-13 November

New spacious exhibition location

Informa Markets, the organiser of Retail Asia Conference & Expo 2020, announced that the event will be further rescheduled from 17-19 November 2020, to 11-13 November 2020 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), Hong Kong.The ...

Thumbnail-Photo: This is how retailers get their online business holiday-ready...
02.11.2020   #digital marketing #online marketing

This is how retailers get their online business holiday-ready

Checklist for supply chain optimization, SEO, and digital marketing

One thing is clear: in this pre-holiday period, many consumers will avoid the city centers and do their Christmas shopping online. That is why the big retail chains are already vying for consumers' attention. The small stores and local retailers ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Zebra Technologies to acquire Reflexis Systems, Inc....
10.08.2020   #POS communications #workforce deployment

Zebra Technologies to acquire Reflexis Systems, Inc.

Acquisition helps Zebra empower every worker at the edge to execute the best next action

Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today announced it intends to acquire Reflexis Systems, Inc., a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: World’s first convenience store retrofitted with AI technology...
14.08.2020   #video surveillance #video cameras

World’s first convenience store retrofitted with AI technology

Standard Cognition to provide Circle K with autonomous checkout

Standard (“Standard Cognition”) announced that Alimentation Couche-Tard, a company that operates close to 14,500 convenience stores worldwide, including under the global brand Circle K, has selected Standard to pilot touchless, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: SALTO Systems invests in Austrian company Gantner...
21.10.2020   #security #access control

SALTO Systems invests in Austrian company Gantner

SALTO wants to strengthen its Access Control solutions portfolio, and welcomes new shareholders.

SALTO is a leading manufacturer in electronic access control solutions. The company has trusted customers in Education (Princeton University, University of Oxford), Hospitality (Hilton, Meliá Hotels and Resorts), Healthcare (Cleveland ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Shopping experience thanks to electronic shelf labels...
10.11.2020   #customer satisfaction #brick and mortar retail

Shopping experience thanks to electronic shelf labels

A unique customer experience at new danish gaming store

At the end of August 2020, Denmark's new gaming universe Games N 'Gadgets opened its doors to gamers and game-loving people in the center of Horsens city. Games N 'Gadgets offers everything within gaming, gadgets and computer ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Smart solutions for the retail of tomorrow
28.09.2020   #video surveillance #video cameras

Smart solutions for the retail of tomorrow

Increase sales in retail?

Use intelligent technologies to set the right buying impulses at the stationary PoS by continuously adapting advertising messages to the situation in real time.Learn more about it in the video! ...

Supplier

SALTO Systems GmbH
SALTO Systems GmbH
Schwelmer Str. 245
42389 Wuppertal
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
Adasys GmbH – a Poindus Company
Adasys GmbH – a Poindus Company
Max-Planck-Straße 10
70806 Kornwestheim
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
Axis Communications GmbH
Axis Communications GmbH
Adalperostraße 86
85737 Ismaning
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen