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In Canada, Sobey's announced that it "is bringing the first intelligent shopping cart to Canadian grocery stores with the launch of the Sobeys Smart Cart," describing it as "an innovative technology-enhanced shopping cart that provides customers with a highly-engaging, fun and fast way to shop." The cart "aims to enhance the in-store shopping experience with a focus on improving one of the greatest points of customer friction … The cart's groundbreaking technology scans and weighs products as customers place them in the cart, displays a running tally of purchases while the customer shops, and allows customers to pay on the spot with the cart. No waiting, no line-ups."

The description goes on:

"Equipped with AI and machine learning technology, the cart will continually evolve to improve beyond a speedy checkout. The cart's easy-to-read screen will eventually help customers navigate the store to complete a shopping list, highlight great-value promotions and make product suggestions to round out a favourite recipe. This pilot is part of Sobeys' customer-focused innovation approach to learn and continuously improve through customer feedback.

"The cart will also evolve from "scanning" product, to 'identifying' product. The Sobeys Smart Cart includes multiple high-resolution cameras that capture 120 images per second as product is placed in the cart, which allows the cart to learn how to identify each grocery item. Supported by the cart's sensitive weight measures, customers will eventually be able to toss their items into the cart without having to enter any information or scan barcodes."
KC's View:
The two most important words in the announcement, in my opinion, are "customer friction." I don't care how you do it, but it is critical for every retailer to try to find ways to eliminate friction in the shopping experience, wherever and however it exists.