Sainsbury’s is currently testing an app that allows customers to forgo the checkout entirely and pay for their shopping through their smartphones.
The app, which is being developed in-house, is being trialled at a small store in London’s Euston station and allows customers who want to buy the ‘On the Go’ meal deal to pay solely through the app.
So how does it work? You simply download the app, then using the camera on your smartphone the app scans the barcode of the items, adds it to your shopping basket and you can then pay on your phone.
After payment is done you can just walk out of the shop.
The next question of course is when are we going to see this technology appearing in our local shops.
According to Sainsbury’s Head of Customer Experience Natalie Dunn the company is “some way off from rolling this out” but added that “we are keen to understand how we can take the concept and develop an offering that is genuinely useful.”
Sainsbury’s certainly aren’t the first company to test out the idea of a checkout-free store.
In December 2016 Amazon unveiled its first completely checkout-free store in Seattle.
Called Amazon Go, the store lets a person ‘check in’ using a smartphone app but once they’re inside the store all a person has to do is simply place the items they want into the basket.
Cameras and sensors dotted around the store then track the items placed in the basket and automatically add it to a person’s bill. The customer then bags up their own items and once the store detects the person has left the bill is automatically settled without them having to do anything.