New contactless checkout experience at the retail innovation lab/Couche-Tard Connecté store
The retail innovation lab (RIL) is a space for technological experimentation and academic research. New, state-of-the-art vision technology has been installed with the aim of converting the entire space into a frictionless store. Customers will have the opportunity to choose whether they wish to pay for items traditionally at the cash, or simply tap their phone at a designated terminal and walk out of the store with their purchased items. This means no more line-ups and no more products to scan! You can now just Shop. Tap. & Go.
How the technology works
For several months, Couche-Tard has been working to integrate an AI-powered computer vision technology supported by a next generation cloud-based retail platform that monitors people, products and actions. When entering the store, each customer is assigned an individual virtual cart. The system doesn’t know who they are, just that they are a new customer. There is no facial recognition so the system can never visually identify someone.
When entering the store, the customer can grab any items (except behind the counter items, lottery and gift cards). The items are added automatically to virtual carts and removed automatically if items are placed back on the shelf. The system can see depth and generate a 3D view that calculates where the customers are in the store as they move around.
2. Check Out
For a contactless check out, customers can use the Couche-Tard mobile app to pay at one of the checkout kiosks in store. When a customer successfully taps the NFC, a green light will appear on the kiosk and a success confirmation notification on the app screen will appear.
3. Virtual receipt
When the customer leaves, the technology closes the virtual cart, then charges individuals who tapped on their credit cards. The customer will receive a notification inside the app when the receipt is available, typically in <30 minutes after leaving the store.
All coffees $2: for a limited time
- Customers who complete a transaction through the app will pay $2 for their coffee, whether it is a small, medium, large or a regular coffee, cappuccino, latte. Really… all coffees!
On-site, you will notice ambassadors. They are there to support customers in their new shopping experience. You can ask them questions about how to use the technology and share your comments and feedback about this new checkout experience. Remember, this is a retail innovation lab. And we love hearing your thoughts about the new experiences we bring in.
Happy contactless shopping!
Make sure to download the app and to add your credit card as a payment method before coming to the store!
If you have any questions or concerns, please email:
bsrm.mgmt [at] mcgill.ca or a.mansuri [at] couche-tard.com.