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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kroger Scan, Bag and Go

Got a chance today to use the Kroger in-aisle checkout method at the Middletown,  Ohio Kroger today.   This was a concept we tested with many alternatives in the innovation center and in lab stores. Nicely done example here.

You pick up a small hand scanning device just inside the entrance.  A  sign billed it as being in test.  Only about half of maybe twenty devices were being used today.   This could be replaced with an App to simplify the process.  You scan your loyalty card barcode to identify yourself.   Then you are off and scanning.   Its easy to learn, tried the always problematic produce identification and weigh in, but as long as you followed the instructions it went fine. All barcode tagged items were identified first time.

You can add and remove items. Get total cost.  No way to upload a shopping list, which would be useful. Also no way I saw to see your whole basket at once.  A store item locator would be useful as well.  These additional features could be integrated into an App on the customers smartphone.  No obvious place to place your device when shopping,  so it takes up one hand.  Saw this solved with a handle-holster in some experiments. Did not check how this handled coupons.  No way to send any messages back to the shopper, an obvious next step.

It was a little unclear to find where to check out, but as expected this was being handled next to the other self checkout.  It works similarly to self checkout, payment is gathered by  a payment system or employee.  Any ID checks needed are signaled as well.  No wait at all occurred on a relatively busy Saturday afternoon. Overall a good experience that I would use again.

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