Frictionless is gaining ground in Europe
Amazon’s Just Walk Out tech isn’t the only game in town when it comes to frictionless payment technology. Israeli computer vision company Trigo is gaining ground in Europe thanks to a partnership with Netto Marken-Discount on its first cashless hybrid grocery store in Munich.
Trigo transforms existing supermarkets into fully stand-alone or hybrid digital stores, combining artificial intelligence technology with ceiling-mounted cameras to create a seamless shopping experience. Shoppers use an app to scan a QR code when they walk in, then will be free to pick up items and leave without having to wait in a checkout line. The purchase amount is automatically deducted through the registered payment method stored in the app.
Owned by the EDEKA group, one of the largest supermarket chains in the world, Netto has more than 4,000 stores across Germany. The 250 square meter (approximately 2,690 square feet) cashless hybrid store is located in the Schwabing West district of Munich, near the University of Munich, and has more than 3,500 SKUs. Buyers who prefer to use the traditional checkout still have this option.
“With ‘Pick & Go’ we are testing an innovative purchasing service for customers,” said Christina Stylianou, Head of Corporate Communications at Netto. “At the same time, this new offer allows us to respond to the current desire of many people for less contact in everyday life.
For items with an age restriction, the age verification for alcohol and tobacco will be processed once through the app on the first visit from customers. Additionally, while Trigo’s GDPR-compliant privacy by design solution anonymizes a buyer’s in-store movement and product choice data, it does not use any biometric or facial recognition data. This is an important feature, as Germany has some of the strictest data protection and privacy regulations.
“Trigo works with some of the biggest names in retail, and we’re especially excited to partner with Netto to open the world’s first frictionless hybrid discount store,” said Michael Gabay, Co-Founder and CEO of Trigo . “The general public will be able to take advantage of the discounter’s competitive prices, as well as an excellent shopping experience. “
Trigo recently partnered with other major European food retailers such as Tesco, Rewe and Aldi Nord on seamless shopping solutions, and also recently signed an agreement to join Google Cloud’s partner ecosystem to make it easier for retailers to transform into standalone AI-powered stores, putting some pressure on the online retail giant Amazon.
Amazon’s Just Walk Out standalone technology is made possible by a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning. Customers are invited at the store front doors to choose whether they want to use Just Walk Out purchases or traditional payment channels. If you opt for Just Walk Out, customers can skip payment and will be charged for their items through their Amazon account or credit card. Stand-alone technology is available at Amazon Fresh grocery stores and Whole Foods Market stores.
Based in Seattle Amazon is # 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of leading food and consumable retailers in North America, while its wholly owned subsidiary, based in Austin, Texas Whole foods, is No. 26 on the PG list.