Progressive Grocer Independent

AUG 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 43

August 2016 | Defining the Independent Market | 25 is isn't something that's just happening in progressive northern European countries. Farmhouse Market, a co-op in New Prague, Minn., offers its members 24/7 access to a store through a keycard and a self-checkout system. Both stores are located in non- urban areas, where staffing can be cost-prohibitive for the number of customers who may want to run to the store at midnight. is model offers the best of both worlds to their customers. e technology that no-staff stores use is easily available. "e solution is not original," Ilijason said in a Col- article. "I'm using off- the-shelf products and have added very little." Elimination of Checkout While it may be easily available, it's still new to both retailers and custom- ers. In one example, SelfPoint has added self-scan to its e-commerce offerings. "Our Mobile Shopper is the shopping experience of the future, the near future," Gniwisch says. Customers simply scan a product at the store, place it in their bag, and when they're done shop- ping, tap the checkout icon, and the products are charged to a card or mobile payment system the customer has already programmed into the app. Customers can walk out the door, bypassing the check- out completely. "Customers hate waiting in line," Gniwisch observes. Independent retailers may worry about the lack of em- ployee/customer interaction, some- thing they often tout as one of their advantages, but Gniwisch notes that in the pilot stores in Israel testing the app, customer satisfaction has been tremendous. To prevent theft, stores using the app position an employee at the front door who can track which custom- ers are using the app and where they are in the store. en the employee randomly selects customers to check their orders as they walk out the door. If a discrepancy is found, that customer is flagged in the system and after so many flags, the customer is no longer permitted to use the app, and their payment process is revoked. e mere sugges- tion that their orders may be checked deters most of the theft, Gniwisch notes. e app also encourages engaged interaction between the staff and customers. Employees can monitor a customer's movements through the store, and if the customer is lingering in one place for an extended period of time, the employee can approach to help answer questions or direct the customer to the product they're looking for. "People don't like to be bothered while they're shopping, and you don't want them to think it's Big Brother watching over them, so it has to be done in a smart way," Gniwisch points out. Customers can also ask for help via the app, and an alert is sent to a moni- toring employee to let them know a customer needs assistance, and in what area. If the store doesn't carry a product the customer is looking for, the app allows them to request that product. e store can then decide whether to source the product. "Merchandising is about seduction. You have to cross- merchandise, not just stock product." —Kevin Kelley, principal at Shook Kelley

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Progressive Grocer Independent - AUG 2016