Following in the footsteps of Amazon Go

The Household team headed down to Sainsbury's in Clapham North, where the brand is trialling till-free tech.

Following in the footsteps of the Seattle Amazon Go store with its “Just Walk Out” technology, Sainsbury’s has launched its first scan and leave concept in Clapham. Sainsbury’s trialed the concept in Euston last year, as a speedy way to purchase the £3 meal deal. The upgraded version lets shoppers use the till-free tech on any transaction under £30. Guests register products as they go, then scan a QR code at the shop’s exit to prompt an Apple Pay authorisation on their phone.

Sainsbury's Scan & Pay

Sainsbury’s isn’t the first UK supermarket to use a scan-as-you-go tech; both Waitrose and Tesco provide self-scanning devices in select stores. However, Sainsbury’s Smart Shop app definitely streamlines the process, replacing clunky handsets with the shopper’s own phone, eliminating the need for a designated payment area. Admittedly, putting your shopping straight into your bag will take some getting used to. But Sainsbury’s reassuring comments recognises this, with phrases like “Scan & bag your items. Pay with the app. Walk out. No, really!”. The straightforward un-do process for any accidental scans, also helps reduce the pressure for less tech savvy customers.

The Clapham store was chosen for the trial due to its high rates of contactless payment and congested queues during peak hours. Since SmartShop was launched, the queueing situation has already improved, and with particularly strong uptake amongst younger shoppers, it looks like the tech is here to stay.

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