The Entrepreneurs

New Zealand retailer Foodstuffs to trial world-first artificial intelligence shopping solution

  • Written by Linda Shackelford


Auckland, New Zealand - New Zealanders will be the first in the world to trial new artificial intelligence technology that brings the checkout to the trolley when they shop for groceries at a Foodstuffs store in coming months.

New Zealand-based artificial intelligence company IMAGR announced today that it’s upping the grocery game by launching its innovative shopper solution SMARTCART to a Four Square store in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie.

The move comes as retailers around the globe look for ways to give consumers more streamlined methods and checkout-less options for shopping, including the recent launch of Amazon Go in Seattle.

The New Zealand store will be the flagship Foodstuffs retail outlet to trial SMARTCART, a computer vision technology retrofitted to shopping baskets and carts that recognises products as soon as they are placed inside – eliminating the need for barcode scanning, checkouts and queueing.

“We’re delighted Foodstuffs is the first retailer in the world that we’re partnering with to make this happen. This is the first significant step in enhancing the way we do our shopping here in New Zealand and abroad,” says IMAGR founder William Chomley. “It’s great to see Foodstuffs embracing technology like this to empower customer experiences.” 

To activate SMARTCART, shoppers simply download an app and link a payment method to their account. In store, they pair their smartphone with the shopping trolley or basket, and as they add products to their cart the items are recognised and appear on their phone’s virtual basket – removing traditional barcode scanning and the checkout process altogether.

SMARTCART is the brainchild of Chomley, who started conceptualising a solution two years ago to improve convenience and help eliminate the frustration that comes with queuing at the checkout.  Since then, IMAGR has grown to a team of 12, with artificial intelligence (AI) specialists from around the world working on the technology from its Auckland headquarters.

The current retail landscape calls for brick and mortar retailers to find more efficient ways to deliver tailored, frictionless experiences and Chomley says SMARTCART, a flexible solution, which can be applied to any grocery store using their existing infrastructure, is the answer.

“Personalisation and convenience are becoming industry norms, bricks and mortar is no exception, people want ease of access to products and to bypass queues. We’re focused on creating a hyper-personalised in-store experience that also includes an ‘alternative’ method for checking out. SMARTCART provides another payment solution to retailers’ normal checkout and self-service offerings,” says Chomley.

Foodstuffs North Island Chief Information Officer Peter Muggleston says brick and mortar retailers must embrace AI technologies to enhance consumer experiences and ensure they lead the field in what they offer. Muggleston explains Foodstuffs decision to work with IMAGR is one that will take the co-op’s offering to the next level.

“We’re committed to giving Kiwi shoppers the best service, experiences and innovation. This technology will give consumers more options, reduced wait times and variety during their store visits, giving our staff more time to offer their advice and help in other ways,” says Muggleston.

SMARTCART applies machine learning technology to identify the patterns in a customer’s behaviour and make suggestions for recipes as well as guiding users around the store, based on their product choices.  

The advantages for retailers don’t stop there - SMARTCART can also help with inventory management, cost reduction and analytics and IMAGR is working on effective ways to deliver tailored promotions to customers as they shop.

Kiwis curious to try AI in action can head to the Ellerslie Four Square, named ‘store of the year’ at the 2017 Foodstuffs North Island Co-op awards at a date soon to be announced, to experience this new way of shopping.

 “We’ll be encouraging everyone to come down to the store to give SMARTCART a go and see first-hand how this user-friendly technology will have a positive impact on our lives,” says Chomley.

In November, IMAGR received a significant investment from Sage Technologies Ltd, the technology venture of private investment company QuantRes Founder Harald McPike, to progress its retrofit solution towards the testing (beta) phase.

While Foodstuffs is the first FMCG retailer down under to pilot SMARTCART, momentum is building globally as IMAGR is in talks with retailers in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and America, aiming for significant user-adoption at three of the world’s leading retailers by 2022.


.

What you need to know before you open a …

In the past, foreign exchange was a market that was only accessible to corporations and institutions. With technological advancements and growth in the money market, today it is possible for...

Predict future trends through currency c…

Do you know many people predict the future trend of prices through currency correlations? The answer may not be known to you but smart traders know they can save their...

The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the…

Applications are now open for Professional Services Executive of the Year in  The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the Year Awards.    Executive of the Year Awards video   The CEO Magazine is calling for all leaders in...

Applications are now open for Retail Exe…

The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the Year Awards.   The CEO Magazine is calling for all retail professionals, who are able to demonstrate excellence within their role in the retail...

Fast growing e-retailer ONTHEGO strikes …

Mick Spencer, CEO and founder of ONTHEGO   ONTHEGO (OTG), a leading e-retailer of customised uniforms and sports apparel, has today announced that the  Workwear Group (WWG), a subsidiary of Wesfarmers Industrial & Safety, has acquired...

Applications now open for SBE Australia’…

Building upon last year’s success of the E3 program, SBE Australia have now opened up applications to all female founders     2017 SBE Australia E3 Program cohort   SYDNEY - 07 June 2018   Applications are...

Caltex Accelerator cohort announced

Caltex Australia is pleased to announce the 12 successful candidates for its inaugural Spark Accelerator program, to be delivered by Slingshot. Chosen from over 300 applicants, the inaugural Spark Accelerator...

Why a cheap logo is the most expensive t…

Three reasons why a cheap logo is the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy In the past few years, we’ve seen a staggering proliferation of online portals where logos are...

Poor visual communication affecting busi…

YOUR COMMUNICATIONS TO MILLENNIALS IS FAILING   New research reveals failing to focus on visual communication threatens productivity and engagement levels   Many Australian businesses are failing with their communications to the largest generation...

GapEOD GO IN DEEP WITH NEW TECH

QUEENSLAND based Geophysical company Gap Explosive Ordnance Detection Pty Ltd (GapEOD) have unveiled further developments to its market leading UltraTEM technology, to help detect hazardous items deep in the ocean...

How to Get a New Car on the Road for Les…

There’s nothing quite like getting a new car. The smooth ride and handling, the peace of mind you feel knowing that it won’t break down, and of course, that new...

Sunfresh Linen taking an analytical look…

Major Brisbane Laundry to Clean Up with Better Training One of Queensland’s largest commercial laundries, Sunfresh Linen, is just one of the growing number of Australian businesses taking an analytical look...

Creating a workplace for all ages

Today’s workplaces are more generationally diverse than ever before, with five generations currently working side by side, and as Australia’s population ages by 2025 more than 26% of our population...

Wagering on two-outcome sporting events …

A two-outcome sporting event is one where two teams or players play each other. With the exception of the rare draw, one team/player or the other will win. Punters wagering...

Ransomware attacks on the rise: How clou…

CEO Of ITonCloud, Andrew Tucker Australian private cloud firm, ITonCloud, says that ransomware represents a significant threat to every industry and is only getting worse, particularly with businesses with on-site servers.   As...

From hobby to full blown successful star…

Two Aussie blokes create healthy, high protein beef jerky.   Tasmania, 26th April 2018, Friends and Jerkypreneurs, Andy Fist and Shaun Malligan, who share a passion for healthy eating and the outdoors...

Decolonise, decentralise and deartify: N…

From left: Angharad Wynne-Jones, Jasmeet Sahi, Erica McCalman and chair Simon Abrahams   Who decides what we see? Who decides what we don’t see? How accessible are open access festivals? How do...

Spacenow gives purpose to unused space

Business real estate is being disrupted from within though Spacenow, a website designed to activate under-utilised areas, including boardrooms, commercial kitchens and offices. Spacenow came about after a...

CREATORS OF NEWSROOM.LY LAUNCH NEW ‘INCI…

- incites.com launches to change the way marketers analyse, interpret and act on data driven insights - Thursday 19 April, 2018 - Newsroom.ly has today announced a re-brand to incites.com...

Masterclass offers leaders the chance to…

Getting one (or several) steps ahead of the competition in business is key, and staying there is imperative to success and survival.  To do so, businesses and leaders must be at...

New AR app puts technology to commercial…

An Australian start-up has launched a world-first augmented reality app that puts Apple’s exciting ARKit framework to use for a genuinely commercial purpose.   Realar Places, the creation of well-known tech entrepreneurs...

TPG + Place Match launch element

Perth’s largest urban planning firm has embarked on a new era, repositioning itself with a fresh direction and new name of element – responding to ever changing directions in community...

Business Plans: What is the point?

Business plans are not a new concept, most of us have seen them and have a fair (if theoretical) idea of their value. Despite a lot of interest from business...

Sarah Connelly launched Product of the Y…

Meet the face behind the 33% sales uplift for one of Australia’s best-known food brands Finding herself on the hunt for a new challenge after an illustrious career in advertising, Sarah...