Carrefour Flash – Frictionless Shopping with Even Less Friction
One of the problems that shoppers wishing to use a ‘frictionless’ store are likely to encounter is the business of getting in. At the moment, most frictionless retail formats require shoppers to download an app, add bank details and then generate a QR code from the app in order to gain access.
All good once you’re set up, but the initial hurdle is one that a few may find more trouble than it’s worth. Not so at Carrefour Flash, which opened in Paris’ 11th arrondissement on Wednesday. Here, the shopper ‘just walks in’ (as opposed to the Amazon Fresh ‘just walk out’ strapline) and when this is done the shop uses AI to generate a digital avatar of the customer. The movement of this avatar and the selections made are tracked as the shopping trip is made and at the finish, the customer just wanders over to a kiosk, presses a button and the purchases are validated. Payment is taken electronically at the kiosk.
Paying may take a few seconds, but it’s probably a lot less trouble than trying to get the app opened and then present a QR code. ‘Just walk in’ and ‘then just pause before leaving’ could be a new way of doing things.