MediaMarktSaturn will open their Innsbruck, Austria pilot store sometime in March, which will be a checkout-free store, in concert with MishiPay, a UK startup that lets consumers scan product labels and pay with their smartphone, making the shopping queue obsolete.
The Same As Amazon Go, But Different
Amazon Go is also a checkout-free store, but Amazon Go doesn’t allow customers to scan products with their smartphones – they utilise on-site cameras to scan and keep track of what customers choose, making it a bad idea to pick up items from the shelf for other shoppers in an Amazon Go store.
The MediaMarktSaturn store is setup to allow customers to shop, scanning the products with their smartphone to buy them. This allows for a much more personal shopping experience.
Checkout-Free Stores In China
Many Chinese retailers, including Tencent have been implementing checkout-free shopping experiences. These outlets utilise WeChat wallets whilst sensors on the shelves detect the removal of items. Once an item has been removed, it is linked to the shopper’s unique ID in the smartphone app to prevent theft. There is even the Bingobox, thought up by Swedish startup Wheelys, that currently has dozens of unmanned shops in operation in China with hundreds more in the planning phase.
China is systematically and rapidly getting rid of the need for paper money and coins, with people in major Chinese cities using their smartphones to pay for almost everything – from paying rent and buying groceries all the way to donating to charities and more.
MediaMarktSaturn And Tech
MediaMarktSaturn has been experimenting with a lot of technologies, such as in-store robots, chatbots and augmented reality. The company is trying to test the waters of technology implementation as quickly as possible. For this German retail group, it is of utmost importance to speed up innovation, after having slowly responded to changes in the past.