10 seconds to shop, 10 seconds to pay, promises Carrefour.
The distributor opens Carrefour Flash 10/10 on Thursday in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, a fully automated store that allows customers to pay without having to scan their items.
The instant you step in to the payment tablet, the customer's basket is recognized
,” explains Élodie Perthuisot, Carrefour's e-commerce executive director.
All you have to do is bring your card to pay contactlessly, or enter your code on the screen
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To achieve this small feat, the distributor offered the services of the Californian start-up Aifi, whose technology he tested for a year in Massy, with his own employees.
From the outside, this 50m2 store, a former Carrefour Express, looks like any other mini-market.
It offers the same number of essential items, 900, as the Carrefour Express which preceded it.
Coffee, pasta, chocolate, some fresh produce, alcohol.
96% reliable cart
Unlike Amazon Go, Auchan Go or the Casino Black Box, which offer similar concepts, the customer does not have to identify himself to enter.
But as soon as he crosses the threshold, 60 cameras scrutinize his actions to compose his basket in real time.
What makes the strength of this technology is the combination of these cameras with 250 shelves equipped with scales, on which the products are placed, and which detect the products picked up by the customer
," explains Miguel Angel González Gisbert, Technology Director and data from the Carrefour group.
The composition of the basket is 96% reliable
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Unlike other independent stores, the customer does not leave without having taken out his credit card.
We have identified that going out without knowing how much the customer will pay is an irritant for him
," explains Élodie Perhuisot.
In our store, therefore, he pays first
The advantage of this technology is to make the shopping experience smoother and to save the customer time.
And to welcome without a hitch a greater number of people in this small area.
For now, Carrefour Flash can accommodate up to 20 people in its 50m2, but it will soon be more.
Carrefour, however, does not rely on this technology to save money. It is for the moment expensive, even if its cost tends to fall. And automatic checkouts do not replace staff. Carrefour Flash has 4 employees, like the Carrefour Express which preceded it. They are required to allow customers to purchase a bottle of liquor, to correct cash register errors or to replace an improperly stored product. Aifi technology therefore does not allow the opening hours of the store to be extended. “
And we want to offer additional services, such as e-commerce order pick-up, collection of Potager city baskets and grocery delivery via UberEats or Deliveroo. These are all services that require staff,
”explains Élodie Perthuisot.
The first Carrefour Flash will be tested in real conditions in 2022. Depending on customer feedback, the distributor reserves the right to deploy this technology more widely in its convenience stores, as a priority.