Just two months after beginning a trial in its Ponsonby store, Countdown is launching its Scan&Go shopping service in four more Auckland stores.
The contactless service includes hi-tech scales that know what you’re buying, and allows customers to shop on their own device, skipping the regular checkout for an easy in-store experience.
Scan&Go is available at Countdown Milford and Auckland City, with Grey Lynn and Pt Chevalier to follow this month.
Countdown’s Acting Managing Director, Sally Copland, says customers have embraced the new technology through the trial and the team has worked quickly to make it available to more customers.
“Customers are always at the forefront of everything we do and with such positive feedback out of the Ponsonby trial we knew we had to share this tech with more people – especially as we head into the busy Christmas period,” says Sally Copland.
The technology lets customers shop via an app scanning, bagging and paying for their groceries all from their smartphone. Specially-designed scales in the produce area use image recognition to identify which type of fresh fruit and vegetables customers choose, including letting you know if you’ve left your keys or phone on the scales, or telling the difference between different types of apples.
Customers using the app can pack groceries straight into their bags as they go, doing away with double handling; exit the store with a QR-coded receipt through a dedicated lane, and keep a running total to help stay on budget.
“Our Ponsonby customers have really embraced Scan&Go as it’s quick and easy to use. Customers have loved using the tech whether they’re quickly popping in or filling a trolley,” says Sally Copland.
“Regular shoppers have told us it’s a bit of fun to walk into the store, pack as they go, use the smart scales and then walk straight out without stopping at the checkout. It’s exciting to see this sort of technology implemented to improve our lives in an everyday way.”
Countdown has a dedicated digital arm, CountdownX, based in Ponsonby which is responsible for constantly innovating the supermarket’s technology in response to customer feedback and demand.
“Online shopping rates have hit record levels this year, accounting for 11.9 per cent of our business but we know that the majority of Kiwis still visit a supermarket at least once a week. It’s at the core of our values to innovate for all our customers, whether they shop in person or not,” says Sally Copland.
The CountdownX team has continued to innovate throughout 2020, inspired by the huge increase in demand for its services throughout COVID-19 lockdowns.
These innovations have included overhauling its myCountdown app to simplify the online shopping process nationwide; introducing Olive the chatbot to help with 3000 daily customer conversations online; launching Kai the safety robot at Countdown Rototuna; developing a Priority Assistance online shopping service; rolling out Countdown Pharmacy online, and opening the country’s first dedicated eStore in Auckland.