Shopping as easy as never before and without paying at the counter. Not possible? It is!
Pick & Go within a flow
It's easier than ever: our interdisciplinary project team, consisting of REWE digital's Research & Innovation department and sales teams from REWE Markt GmbH, is testing new ways of grocery shopping in a REWE store in Cologne - fast, easy, contact-reduced, secure and without a payment process at the counter.
New shopping experience, simple and secure
After about two years of planning, development and the successful setup of the technology and programming of a special "Pick & Go" app, the time has finally come: the REWE store in Zeppelinstraße not far from Cologne's Neumarkt will become Germany's first Pick & Go test store. The store will offer so-called hybrid shopping, which means that customers can decide for themselves whether to pay at the counter as usual or to shop autonomously without a checkout process using "Pick & Go".
"We will put the system through its paces for a few weeks before inviting our customers to hybrid shopping. It is important for us that all conceivable shopping processes are put to the test under real conditions. Do all the components work as we planned and simulated? How intuitive is the process in the app? Are all products correctly recognized in the store? Are the products displayed correctly in the invoice? How do our colleagues experience hybrid shopping in their everyday work? We are testing all of this and much more."
explains Anika Vooes, project manager from our Research & Innovation department. If the system and processes prove themselves in the market, then the go-ahead for shopping will be given in late summer 2021. Anika:
"In addition to the shopping experience for customers, data security and stability are top priorities for us. Furthermore, we are in close exchange with the data protection supervisory authority in North Rhine-Westphalia."
Christoph Eltze, CEO of REWE digital and Divisional Board Member Retail Germany, also sees our digital pioneering role in retail confirmed:
"Technological development is making rapid progress. Here, it is important to identify the right partners. In addition, there are other crucial factors to consider in the area of food retailing, with its different formats, its broad assortments, and the diverse requirements, particularly with regard to data protection in Germany."
But what is it all about?
From the outside, our test store looks like a regular supermarket. However, the clear data protection notices and the modern entrance barrier reveal that more than traditional shopping is possible here. Customers who want to use the autonomous checkout, i.e., shopping without actively checking out at the counter, register at the barrier using our special app. Now they can take all the products they want from the shelves and pack them away. This includes fruit and vegetables, dry goods, frozen products - even freshly brewed latte macchiato for on-the-go. Intelligent cameras and sensors in the shelves and other high-tech components such as servers, switches and around six kilometers of high-speed network cables are at the heart of the system. Customers are not personally identifiable via the camera data recorded for the purchase, and the invoice appears automatically in the app afterwards.
By the way, the Cologne store is one of the first supermarkets in Europe to enable hybrid shopping in this way under real conditions. We are working here with our international technology partner Trigo Vision Ltd, a company specialized in computer vision technology. Trigo's solution creates a 3D model of a supermarket to digitally map the environment and movement within it, allowing customers to select items and walk out with them while protecting their privacy.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved! More insights on Pick & Go will also be available soon in our REWE digital podcast Codes und schmerzlos.