Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, has signed a cooperation deal with Israeli startup Shopic, to deploy its AI-based smart cart mobile self-checkout solution to customers.
Shufersal will gradually implement the solution, which includes cameras that detect any product leaving or entering the cart, by getting rid of the process of scanning products. It will assist shoppers during the buying process by recommending products based on shopping habits, helping customers navigate the store according to their shopping lists, and eventually, allowing them to skip the checkout line.
Founded in 2016, Shopic’s device uses computer vision to track when customers add and remove items from their shopping cart. This also allows customers to skip the checkout line. The company has raised a total of $21 million to date, including a $10 million funding round in July.
The solution is currently being implemented in a number of leading retail chains worldwide.
It is based on a modular and convenient unit that can be fitted to any standard shopping cart. Shoppers will be able to pick up the unit when they enter the store, attach it to the shopping cart with one click, and go about their purchase as they have in the past. Two cameras on the unit automatically detect the products that are put in the cart or taken out of it. A large touch screen will communicate with the shoppers, guiding them and recommending special offers and promotions.
At the end of the purchasing process, the cart will add up the bill. In the first phase of the deployment, buyers will pay at designated checkouts counters without having to queue, but they will soon be able to make the payment directly from the cart.
In the first phase of the deployment, buyers will pay at designated checkouts counters without having to stand in line, but they will soon be able to make the payment directly from the cart.
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Shopic’s solution does not require changes in the store’s physical infrastructure and does not require a massive investment in new and expensive carts. It also allows the system to be deployed in any store within a few days.
The smart unit is equipped with an AI chip and an image recognition system that is able to learn to recognize new products while in use.
Shopic says in a statement that it has developed one of the only solutions available today for smart shopping suitable for large supermarkets and hypermarkets.
“We are designating the solution for some 200 of our largest branches. The solution will be implemented gradually from the beginning of 2022. We are bringing all the benefits of online shopping to our physical stores. The shopping experience will be more personalized, targeting each customer with relevant recommendations, while avoiding the part least liked by the customers – queuing at the checkout counters. Shopic has developed a solution together with us that meets all these needs,” Zvika Fishheimer, VP of Human Resources and Strategy at Shufersal said.
“One of the most important aspects of developing technologies for the retail market is a deep understanding of the business, of the operational challenges, and the unique needs in stores. Therefore, the cooperation with Shufersal is critical to us. Shufersal is not only the largest retail chain in Israel but also a leader in innovation in the industry. Thanks to the boldness and openness of the chain, we will be able to take the Israeli buyer to the next generation of the shopping experience,” added Raz Golan, CEO of Shopic.