Sainsbury’s Trials Till-Free Shopping In Clapham

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The trial allows shoppers to scan items as they shop using a smartphone app, then check out via Apple Pay

Sainsbury’s has launched a “till-free” shopping trial at a location in Clapham, giving shoppers the option of scanning items as they shop and paying via their smartphone.

The trial uses the supermarket chain’s SmartShop app, which is already available in 68 stores, allowing shoppers to scan items as they shop to reduce checkout times.

The version of SmartShop in use at the Clapham North Sainsbury’s Local adds the ability for iPhone users to pay using Apple Pay.

Credit: Sainsbury’s

Amazon Go

The trial follows Amazon’s launch of its Amazon Go store in Seattle at the beginning of this year. Shoppers scan a smartphone app as they enter the store, and a complex system of cameras registers which items are placed into their basket, eliminating the need to check out.

Sainsbury’s take on till-free shopping involves using a phone to scan items as they are put into the basket, and operates alongside existing checkout methods, rather than replacing them.

As they leave the store, shoppers scan a QR code at the exit to confirm their purchases.

Some restricted items, such as alcohol and paracetamol, are not yet included in the trial, but the chain said it plans to introduce them into the range.

Sainsbury’s said it currently has no end date for the trial, and intends to expand it to other branches in the coming months as it improves the service.

Credit: Sainsbury’s

‘Super quick’

“Technology and changing customer shopping habits have transformed the way people buy their groceries,” said Sainsbury’s group chief digital officer Clodagh Moriarty. “The latest version of SmartShop, with its new payment feature, will make it super quick for customers to get in and out of the store for those that want to scan, pay and go.”

The app’s payment feature was trialled at the Sainsbury’s store in Euston Station before opening in Clapham.

SmartShop already processes more than 100,000 transactions per week in the 68 branches in which it has been deployed.

Tesco launched its own scan and pay trial near the company’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City in June, and the Co-Op is also investigating till-less methods.

Credit: Sainsbury’s

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