6-9 Sep 2021

Artifical intelligence technology to launch at NZ supermarket chain Foodstuffs

Written by Foodservice Magazine.


New Zealand retailer, Foodstuffs, is unveiling world-first, artificial intelligence technology that brings the checkout to the shopping trolley.

Auckland-based artificial intelligence company IMAGR are behind the SMARTCART technology, which launches today at a Four Square store in Ellerslie (Auckland).

SMARTCART is designed to give consumers more streamlined methods and checkout-less options for shopping.

It works by computer vision technology being retrofitted to shopping baskets and carts which recognises products as soon as they are placed inside.

SMARTCART technology operates similarly to that which is installed at Amazon Go in Seattle, and eliminates the need for barcode scanning, checkouts and queueing.

“We’re delighted Foodstuffs is the first retailer in the world that we’re partnering with to make this happen,” says IMAGR founder William Chomley.

“This is the first significant step in enhancing the way we do our shopping here in New Zealand and abroad.

“It’s great to see Foodstuffs embracing technology like this to empower customer experiences.”

To activate SMARTCART, shoppers must download an app and link a payment method to their account.

In store, they will be required to pair their smartphone with the shopping trolley or basket, and as they add products to their cart the items are recognised and appear on their phone’s virtual basket.

With a desire to improve customer convenience, Chomley first conceptualised SMARTCART two years ago.

He says the technology can be applied to any grocery store using their existing infrastructure and will help identify customer patterns, guide them through the store and make suggestions for recipes.

SMARTCART can also help with inventory management, cost reduction and analytics.

Chomley is also working on ways in which the technology can tailor promotions to customers as they shop.

“Personalisation and convenience are becoming industry norms, bricks and mortar is no exception, people want ease of access to products and to bypass queues,” says Chomley.

“We’re focused on creating a hyper-personalised in-store experience that also includes an ‘alternative’ method for checking out.

“SMARTCART provides another payment solution to retailers’ normal checkout and self-service offerings.”

Late last year, IMAGR received a significant investment from Sage Technologies Ltd, the technology venture of private investment company QuantRes to progress its retrofit solution towards the testing (beta) phase.

Foodstuffs is the first fast-moving consumer goods retailer in the Southern Hemisphere to pilot SMARTCART.

IMAGR is in talks with companies in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and America to launch this technology at three of the world’s leading retailers by 2022.

For further information, please visit imagr.co.

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