Intelligent Trolleys: Latest Euro Launch
Retailers are piloting next-gen shopping trolleys that become navigational ‘friends’ rather than simply serving as repositories for supermarket groceries, with ITS (Intelligent Trolley Service) the latest to launch.
Danish company IntelTrack Systems, part of design and innovation group CPHI-Holding, launched its ITS trolley – conceived primarily as a navigational tool for shoppers – at London’s Retail Business Technology Expo (May 2-3).
Using proprietary ultrasound positioning, it gives shoppers real-time navigation from a terminal on the back, helping them find shops in a mall, or products in a supermarket. It also has the potential to pass on special offers or loyalty benefits to enrich the shopping experience.
Development engineer Jesper Jensen acknowledged that mobile phone apps offer similar support. “But we noticed that many people, such as in airports, don’t download apps,” he explained. “They simply can’t be bothered.” From the retailer or mall operator’s perspective, data on shoppers’ movements can also be extracted.
IntelTrack has piloted its trolley with Coop, Denmark’s largest retailer, and is next planning a project with the RC (Rødovre Centrum) shopping mall in Copenhagen.
Smart shopping trolleys are evolving fast, including models that can navigate as well as identify goods and automatically charge shoppers. China is arguably the leader in this technology: this January, JD.com introduced smart trolleys in a 7Fresh store in Beijing, combining both pay-as-you-shop and navigational facilities. And in March, American retail giant Walmart filed a patent for a shopping cart ‘sensing device’.
See also NRF 2018 Follow-Up: Next-Gen Supermarket.