The biggest retailer in the United Kingdom is testing a checkout-free method of payment for its convenience stores, to rival Amazon’s Go service that is available in the United States.
Tesco has disclosed that the company is currently testing a way of paying for the shopping of their customers in-store without going through a checkout, with the use of a smartphone app that will scan the items and pay online.
The said app is being tested in a Tesco Express that near the headquarters of the company that is located Welwyn Garden City. The said store is also one of the cashless stores of the retail chain.
During an interview with the press that was held last Thursday, the convenience transformation director of Tesco, announced: “Using your mobile device you select some products, put them into your basket on your device and then just walk out of the store.”
He continued: “The feedback is very good on it but it’s super early.”
Earlier this year, Amazon started trials for a similar scheme in a purpose-built store that is located in Seattle.
The scheme was known as Amazon Go. The Seattle store uses sensors and cameras to track the activity of the customers, and check what they take off the shelves and put back. The customers are then billed through their account with Amazon once they leave the store.
Dave Lewis, the chief executive of Tesco, informed Reuters that even though the Welwyn test-run had a lot of potentials, various security implications had to be taken into consideration as there was a risk of heightened product theft.
He stated: “If the margin in the business is 2 or 3 per cent, you don’t have to lose much to make it unprofitable.”
If deemed to be successful, the said trial could be rolled out to Tesco stores across the United Kingdom in the near future.