Israel’s largest supermarket chain Shufersal has opened its first automated supermarket store in Tel Aviv. This is not an ordinary store. This is a place where shoppers can simply walk in, collect the items they need, and leave without having to stand in the checkout queue to pay for the goods. All payments and receipts are processed digitally. The technology that enables a frictionless customer experience is provided by the Israeli company Trigo.
What it does is that it tracks customers’ movements and their product selections via store cameras. This is clearly a technology that is designed to not only improve shoppers’ experiences but to help the stores increase sales by eliminating waiting time and profitability by reducing the cost of operation.
Shufersal’s experiment is not unique. Trigo has been successfully developing joint projects with Tesco, Aldi, REWE, operating pilot schemes in different countries of Europe. In addition, earlier this year, Trigo reached the shores of America when it commenced a trial in New Jersey by partnering with the largest retailer-owned cooperative, Wakefern.
Consumer trends prior to 2020 were already shifting towards the shopping experience online. The pandemic of the last two years has further accentuated the trend as people are weary of public places and are choosing to buy their groceries online. Therefore, this type of technology is only a forerunner of things to come, and we are not far away from seeing it fully implemented on a broader basis. Amazon’s move into the food sector and its usage of similar technology forces main players in the industry to rethink their current strategy and start embracing new ways of conducting trade. With the sector being famous for its low margins, Trigo’s technology can certainly be of great benefit and help increase profitability together with market share.