Spar is set to become the first Irish retailer to trial checkout-free technology.
BWG, the company that runs Spar in Ireland, has started trialling new technology that allows customers to select a product, scan the barcode with their smartphone to pay for it and leave the shop without queuing.
The company also owns Mace, Londis, XL and the larger Eurospar group. It has announced a new partnership with MishiPay to introduce its theft-proof self-checkout option.
MishiPay’s technology is already in use at a number of international retailers, including sports goods giant Decathlon, which has introduced the checkout-free technology at its 81 stores in Germany.
BWG is set to test the system at two Irish stores, Spar Cherrywood in Dublin and Londis Newcastle in Galway. It plans to roll out MishiPay at its 1,000 stores nationwide if it is a success.
Other benefits of the technology include greater convenience for customers, with less time queuing at checkouts, while also allowing customers to scan products remotely from home for Click & Collect or Home Delivery services reducing time spent in-store. It is anticipated that the technology will allow retailers to improve operational efficiencies by freeing up staff from checkouts to meet increasing demand in other areas of store operations, including food service.
Commenting on the launch of the pioneering technology, Chris Donnelly, IT director, BWG Foods said: “The current pandemic has accelerated the need for consumer facing businesses to embrace new technologies that make shopping experiences safer, quicker and altogether more convenient. We’ve been exploring a number of different advanced solutions to enhance the convenience of our retailers’ offerings and we believe this innovation represents the next great evolution of grocery retailing in Ireland. We’re delighted to be partnering with a reputable and innovative business such as MishiPay, whose solution marks the ultimate consumerisation of technology and has the potential to deliver major benefits to both consumers and retailers alike.”
The news comes as a new report revealed that three-quarters of Irish consumers have been put off shopping in stores due to Covid-19 restrictions.
However, Irish businesses have benefited as 67 per cent of consumers chose to shop with Irish stores out of a desire to help them during the pandemic.
“Tipping Point: How e-commerce can reignite Ireland’s post-Covid-19 economy”, published by IE Domain Registry in partnership with Digital Business Ireland, explores consumer and SME responses to the Covid-19 crisis.
It found that Over seven in 10 Irish consumers (74 per cent) say Covid-19 restrictions in physical stores, such as social distancing, queues, and capacity limits, have negatively impacted their decision to shop in them.
While current restrictions are changing consumer behaviour, the report shows that if Covid-19 were controlled and social distancing no longer required, as many as 48 per cent of consumers would continue to do the bulk of their shopping in physical stores.