Will H-E-B’s self-checkout pilot take off?
The Texas grocery powerhouse H-E-B is piloting a new form of self-checkout at one location that might remind shoppers of a trip to the airport.
The new Fast Scan technology was described by an H-E-B customer visiting the H-E-B Plus! location in Schertz, TX, as allowing customers to run an entire grocery basket through the scanner at once and have it tallied and charged automatically, according to My San Antonio. The described functionality and accompanying image of the scanner recall something that would be used for a luggage (or body) scan at an airport. An earlier iteration of Fast Scan technology, piloted by the chain in 2013, utilized a conveyor belt down which customers could send groceries to have their barcodes automatically read and tallied by a 360-degree scanner.
The new Fast Scan pilot is one in a long list of recent attempts from retailers and tech companies to streamline the checkout process with technology.
Amazon.com emerged as a significant mover in automated checkout a few years ago with the launch of its Just Walk Out technology, which allows customers to pick up items in a store, pay and leave without any scanning or checkout interaction. Earlier this year it rolled out the technology as a checkout option at an Amazon Fresh location in Bellevue, WA, according to a statement on Amazon’s blog. This represented the first time that the technology was implemented alongside conventional check stands rather than in JWO-only stores like Amazon Go.
Amazon also recently announced it had improved the functionality of its Dash Carts and was expanding the use of the carts to Whole Foods locations. The latest iteration of the Dash Cart automatically checks out customers for items placed in the cart and serves on-screen promotions to customers.
Other retailers are opting for upgraded takes on other checkout technology. In June of this year, Circle K rolled out 10,000-plus enhanced self-checkout stations in more than 7,000 stores, according to a press release. The self-checkout technology uses machine vision to recognize each product rather than relying on the customer having to find a barcode.
- H-E-B is testing a futuristic ‘run your basket through’ checkout device – My San Antonio
- The next evolution of the Dash Cart: New features and expansion to first Whole Foods Market Store – Amazon
- Amazon Fresh grocery store: Meet Just Walk Out shopping – Amazon
- Amazon scales its Just Walk Out tech for a full-sized grocery store – RetailWire
- Alimentation Couche-tard to Roll Out “Smart Checkout” to More Than 7,000 Circle K and Couche-tard Stores Across Global Network Using Mashgin’s Ai-powered Technology – PR Newswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see the Fast Scan self-checkout that H-E-B is piloting having any advantage over other options on the market? What do you see emerging as the most popular form of enhanced self-checkout and why?