Report • 13.03.2024

iXtenso tests: REWE Pick&Go

New test store in Düsseldorf - is the concept convincing?

REWE has launched its Pick&Go concept (on a trial basis) in Düsseldorf. Does this mean goodbye to long queues for groceries? Could be, because the idea is that customers come into the store, pick up what they need and leave with full shopping bags - without stopping at the checkout. Is this shopping concept convincing? Three editors describe their personal impressions after a visit.

3 editors from iXtenso take a selfie with a Rewe bag....
Source: iXtenso

But first a brief summary of how the whole thing works:

When you first enter the test store, you have to download the specially designed "REWE pick&Go" app. There you have to register and enter your address and payment details for the checkout process. Once you have entered everything correctly, you verify your details with the store staff. This procedure is intended for the duration of the test phase and will be changed later.

You then go out again and close the application. When you return, you don't have to open it again, but can start shopping straight away. Whether in a shopping cart, a bag or your own bag, you can pack what you need - some fruit and vegetables still have to be weighed - around ten cameras per square meter record from the ceiling what is taken from the shelves, compartments and refrigerated counters. Customers can then leave the store through a special barrier. The app is used for billing, and the digital receipt can also be found there.

Lena Schmidt

Lena Schmidt, editor at iXtenso, smiles into the camera....
Lena Schmidt
Source: iXtenso

"I was impressed by the innovative technology behind this shopping concept. At first I was a bit surprised by the amount of cameras mounted on the ceiling. However, an employee explained that these cameras were not filming us, but merely scanning the products. As the cameras were also not in my field of vision, I was able to quickly block them out and never felt uncomfortable.

I found it particularly remarkable how the system automatically recognized that there would be three of us paying on one bill. I was also impressed by the fact that you can take products and put them back without the system getting confused.

The shopping experience in general was extremely pleasant for me. Being able to just grab whatever I needed and leave the store without the hassle of scanning and waiting at the checkout made me feel like I was saving time and stress. I can definitely see myself shopping this way in the future and am excited to see how concepts like this develop."

Lucy Weiler

Lucy Weiler, editor of iXtenso, smiles into the camera....
Lucy Weiler
Source: iXtenso

When Katja, Lena and I entered the store, the first thing it reminded me of was a science fiction movie. There was a sea of black cameras hanging from the ceiling, pointing in different directions. Leaving that aside, the overall shopping atmosphere resembled a conventional REWE store. The departments, from vegetables to baked goods, are also reminiscent of other stores.

The Pick&Go concept is particularly useful if you're in a hurry: you no longer have to put the products on a checkout conveyor belt - instead, you put them in a bag or simply directly into your own rucksack while shopping. For me, this type of shopping is definitely a time-efficient alternative.

I see a lot of potential for the future. Nevertheless, I also like the old-fashioned queuing, although it takes time - but on the other hand, we are always rushing through our everyday lives these days anyway and trying to save time everywhere. But the five to ten minutes we spend waiting at the checkout are a little breather during which we can wander through the supermarket and perhaps even be inspired by the purchases of other customers.

Personally, I would like there to be both modern and conventional supermarkets so that I can choose what I want my shopping experience to look like depending on my mood and time.

A digital receipt from Rewe.
Source: iXtenso

Katja Laska

Katja Laska, Redakteurin bei iXtenso, lächelt in die Kamera....
Katja Laska
Source: iXtenso

When Lena, Lucy and I stood in front of the test market, I was very excited. Get in, take the goods, get out? This can only be good, right? Unfortunately, my anticipation was somewhat dampened at the entrance. I saw the information sign and thought: "Really? Another app you want me to install?"   It's not about handing over my data, because if you want technological progress, you have to come to terms with it. The app and payment island solutions that have been available up to now are still annoying. Fortunately, thanks to the autofill function and the integration of the Google Pay account, logging in took just a few clicks. And what came next was quite something: the purchase was recorded via my smartphone, but the system also registered when my colleagues added a product to our shopping cart. It recognized us as a group. We took things from the refrigerated shelf in the corner, weighed various loose fruit, took goods from the baking station, chose bottles of drinks, which we then swapped again on the shelf, went through the barrier and the receipt, which appeared in the app after two or three minutes, was correct. If we can now lose our basic fear of handing over data and retailers manage to bundle their service offerings in one (!) app, then I'm sure it could be good!

Lena Schmidt, Lucy Weiler und Katja Laska

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