No-one likes spending any longer at the supermarket than they have to. Whilst self-service checkouts may have sped things up a touch, one UK supermarket is now set to trial doing away with checkouts altogether. The new Sainsbury's app lets users scan items at the shelf and pay via their smartphone.
Gizmag featured Sainsbury's recently when it announced that one of its stores will soon be powered entirely by the food that it fails to sell, which would otherwise go to waste. This most recent announcement feels similarly innovative, in pushing us towards the supermarket of tomorrow.
The new app is designed to cut the time it takes to shop, which Sainsbury's says it has proven itself to do. Users will be able to create a shopping list prior to visiting a store, which Sainsbury’s digital and technology director Jon Rudoe says is partly in recognition that grocery shopping starts when you realize you need an item. In addition, it will allow users to browse for good deals and offers more easily.
Once in-store, the app will direct users to each of the items on their shopping list. Users can then scan the barcode of the items and place them straight into a shopping bag. When the customer has completed their shopping, they can pay using their smartphone, eliminating the need to visit a checkout.
The new app is due to be trialed in stores starting in the next few weeks, and is expected to be in the hands of some customers from late next year.