Checkout-free stores present a model that could flip retail on its head, so it is interesting to see Tesco follow in the footsteps of Morrisons and Amazon in making this step. The checkout-free model seems to fit most comfortably into categories where customers rarely need advice, like grocery shopping and personal care, so it is no surprise that supermarkets are becoming early adopters.
For consumers, checkout-free indulges mission-based shopping – you can get in and out swiftly and avoid the browsing and queuing if you stick to your shopping list. At the same time, you are getting out of the house. It’s experiential, bridging the gap between social activity and digital convenience.
When done correctly, checkout-free retail actually contributes to a richer shopping experience. This is because the model begins and ends with customer data. Whole new fields of customer insight and analytics can be opened up. It’s no longer a matter of just knowing what a customer has bought, but also how long they spent in the store and browsing what aisles.