Sainsbury's trials checkout free payments

Date : 25 September 2017

Sainsbury's is testing a new app that allows customers to pay for items with their phone rather than use a checkout.

London trial

The new software is currently being trialled at Sainsbury's Local in London's Euston station. Customers buying a £3 'on the go' meal deal can now scan and pay for items with the app, helping to speed up shopping for commuters. If the trial is successful the system could be extended to other products and rolled out to other stores.

Moving towards a checkout free store

Sainsbury's head of customer experience Natalie Dunn said “Experimenting with a checkout-free experience is a first for Sainsbury’s and many of our customers, so we are keen to understand how we can take the concept and develop an offering that is genuinely useful for those who shop with us. We may be some way off from rolling this out, but we’re excited to have taken the first step”, she added.

Amazon sets the pace

The initiative comes amid increasing moves across the sector towards automated stores. Last December Amazon opened its Amazon Go store in Seattle which allows shoppers signed up the Amazon Go app to simply walk out of the store without scanning their shopping. Pressure sensors and CCTV enable the items to be identified and for the customer's account to be debited.

Walmart also testing fast checkouts

Sainsbury's checkout free initiative also shares similarities with technology being tested by Walmart at in its Supercenter at Tomball, Texas. Here Walmart offers shoppers a fast checkout option for shoppers as part of a suite of new technologies being tested in-store. Shoppers can use with their own mobile device and pay through the credit card that they pre-loaded on the Scan & Go app. Once they pay, a barcode appears on their phone. The customer shows that barcode to the customer host who will scan it, then they will be on their way out of the store, bypassing the traditional checkout lane. See our store visit report for more insght.