Sobeys pilots Canada’s first intelligent shopping cart
November 20, 2019
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Starting in late October, Sobeys began piloting the Sobeys Smart Cart, the first intelligent shopping cart, in its Glen Abbey location in Oakville, Ont. The technology-enhanced shopping cart was designed to improve the in-store experience, including one of the most annoying parts of a visit to the grocery store – the checkout lineup.
According to Sobeys, the cart’s technology scans and weighs products as customers place them in the cart, displays a running tally of purchases while the customer shops and allows customers to pay on the spot with the cart without having to enter the checkout line.
“While products and customer eating habits have evolved, the in-store grocery shopping experience has remained relatively static for the last 100 years.” said Mathieu Lacoursiere, vice president, retail support at Sobeys. “This is a unique way for us to test innovative new technologies aimed at enhancing the customer shopping experience and learn how best to make it faster and easier. The carts will also give our in-store teammates more time to interact with customers and answer questions about food and new products.”
Featuring AI and machine learning technology from Caper, a New York-based technology company that brings technological solutions to retailers, the cart will “continue to evolve to improve beyond a speedy checkout.” According to Sobeys, the cart’s screen will eventually be able to help customers navigate the store to find what they are looking for, highlight in-store promotions and make product suggestions to complete a recipe.
Sobeys also plans for the cart to evolve from scanning products to identifying them with its included multiple high-resolution cameras. The cameras capture 120 images per second as a product is placed in the cart, which allows the cart to learn how to identify each grocery item. Since each cart features sensitive weight measures, Sobeys aims to have customers be able to just place items in the cart without having to enter any information or scan barcodes.
“Sobeys is an innovative grocer with a strong focus on enhancing the shopper experience,” comments Ahmed Beshry, co-founder and chief business officer of Caper. “The Sobeys Team has incredible execution capabilities. When retailers are able to pick up a new technology and execute quickly, it creates the right environment for rapid innovation.”