ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Rochester, New York-based Wegmans is testing a smart grocery cart at two locations, one in Amherst, New York, and the other in Rochester, New York, reports The Buffalo News.
The grocer is partnering with Shopic on the tests. The tech start-up offers an AI-powered clip-on device that turns a grocery store’s standard shopping cart into a smart cart. The device recognizes items placed in or taken out of the cart in real time and automatically registers them by price and displays the shopper's active receipt on the device's screen.
Shopic also offers digital promotions based on consumers' previous buying habits, store location and item selection. The technology can also help with inventory out-of-stocks and supply chain issues, as well as reduce labor costs.
"We recently selected customers to test the new technology as we take an iterative approach and focus on gathering feedback from a small group of customers," Michele Mehaffy, a Wegmans spokesperson, said.
The test of the smart cart comes after Wegmans discontinued its SCAN self-checkout app, which allowed customers to scan their groceries as they shopped, due to high theft rates.
In August, Shopic secured $35 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total amount raised to date to $56 million.
Last summer, Amazon upgraded its Dash Cart smart carts, which are available at Amazon Fresh grocery stores and select Whole Foods. The carts were increased in size, and customers can now bring them to their cars. There is also now a shelf for delicate items as well as a lower shelf for oversized items. The revised cart also weighs produce quicker by stabilizing through Amazon-created algorithms that can determine signal from noise, such as the cart moving through the store.
NACS offers a free webinar on self-checkout innovations at c-stores. Prepay and post-pay fuel transactions, loyalty, cash payments and age verification are also discussed.
Read more about frictionless checkout systems in “Self-Checkout Strategies” in the March issue of NACS Magazine.