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freitasm

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#276000 21-Sep-2020 09:50
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Press release:

 

 

Countdown is testing out a contactless Scan&Go service where hi-tech scales know what you’re buying and customers can skip the regular checkout for an easy in-store shopping experience.

 

Available from today at Countdown’s busy Ponsonby store in Auckland, Scan&Go lets customers shop via an app – scanning, bagging and paying for their groceries all from their smartphone.   Specially-designed scales in the produce area use image recognition to identify which type of fresh fruit and vegetables customers choose, including letting you know if you’ve left your keys or phone on the scales, or telling the difference between different types of apples.

 

Countdown’s General Manager Brand and CountdownX, Sally Copland, says customers are looking for innovation to help make shopping easier, faster and at the moment, contactless.

 

“Buying groceries is one of the few universal basic needs, and while online shopping continues to grow fast, the majority of Kiwis still visit a supermarket in person at least once a week, and often more.  Just like the online space, in-store customers are looking for innovation too,” says Sally Copland.

 

“At the moment there’s an understandable focus on physical distancing and minimising contact, but even without that, the option to have your bags in the trolley as you shop reduces time spent shopping which is particularly handy for customers popping in and out, or if you’re like me and juggling kids who tend to get restless once it’s time to head for the checkout.”

 

Customers using the app can pack groceries straight into their bags as they go, doing away with double handling; exit the store with a QR-coded receipt through a dedicated lane, and keep a running total to help stay on budget.

 

“This trial is not only about testing our new tech, but seeing how our customers respond to a new style of shopping.  Scan&Go will give us some real insight into how Kiwis want to shop and how we can continue to make that easy for them,” says Sally Copland.

 

“While many people might still see tech like AI in the realm of science fiction, the scales are a great example of how technology can improve our everyday lives and save us time.”

 

Countdown Ponsonby was selected partially due to the lunchtime crowd it attracts, however overseas trials using similar technology have also proven popular with customers doing bigger shops.

 

Scan&Go is one of a number of tech innovations Countdown’s digital arm, CountdownX, is working on to enable customers to better shop how they want and respond to increased demand.  

 

These include overhauling its myCountdown app to simplify the online shopping process nationwide; introducing Olive the chatbot to help with 3000 daily customer conversations online; launching Kai the safety robot at Countdown Rototuna; developing a Priority Assistance online shopping service; rolling our Countdown Pharmacy online, and opening the country’s first dedicated eStore in Auckland.  eStores are also planned for Grenada North in Wellington and Moorhouse in Christchurch

 

 





 

 

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DjShadow
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  #2569007 21-Sep-2020 10:08
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The idea isn't new, Pak n Save (Lower North Island) has had Shop n Go (handheld scanners) for over 15 years, just a wonder why its taken so long for this to go nationwide 


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  #2569012 21-Sep-2020 10:30
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The Countdown trial is another iteration of a technology that promises the avoidance of check-out counter delays.  As with the PaknSave scanners, the problem is how to stop shoppers stealing goods by putting them in the  trolley without scanning them.  The answer can only involve humans doing checks, meaning the checkout-delay still happens at least some of the time.  I am a former user of the PaknSave scanners - I stopped using them when every weekly shop required a 're-scan' despite no past record of dishonesty.

 

The only way to avoid check-out delays is online shopping.





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tehgerbil
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  #2569015 21-Sep-2020 10:34
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OldGeek:

 

The Countdown trial is another iteration of a technology that promises the avoidance of check-out counter delays.  As with the PaknSave scanners, the problem is how to stop shoppers stealing goods by putting them in the  trolley without scanning them.  The answer can only involve humans doing checks, meaning the checkout-delay still happens at least some of the time.  I am a former user of the PaknSave scanners - I stopped using them when every weekly shop required a 're-scan' despite no past record of dishonesty.

 

The only way to avoid check-out delays is online shopping.

 

 

I have used them approx 7 or 8 times now, even with the 'random' X item check it's still half as much time as going oldstyle (30-40 minutes vs 70-80) for a weekly $200 shop thanks largely to the fact I can pack as I go. 


michaelmurfy
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  #2569018 21-Sep-2020 10:38
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OldGeek:

 

The Countdown trial is another iteration of a technology that promises the avoidance of check-out counter delays.  As with the PaknSave scanners, the problem is how to stop shoppers stealing goods by putting them in the  trolley without scanning them.  The answer can only involve humans doing checks, meaning the checkout-delay still happens at least some of the time.  I am a former user of the PaknSave scanners - I stopped using them when every weekly shop required a 're-scan' despite no past record of dishonesty.

 

The only way to avoid check-out delays is online shopping.

 

With the Pak'n'Save scanners you're forced to do random "Re-Scan's" that prove you're scanning correctly. This only happens at the very end to attempt to catch out dishonest people. The system works by giving each person a score based on how many items they've missed and from what the staff say it is normal for customers to sometimes miss an item and the times I've noticed I've actually gone back to pay for it.

 

If every weekly shop required a "re-scan" then you've had scans that have had missed items - I can say I have not had a re-scan in months now and use the system all the time.

 

Personally, I think that the Pak'n'Save system is better than the Countdown system as you're given actual scanners designed to read barcodes instead of using your phone. I can imagine people with cheaper phones having problems with the Countdown way of doing it.





antonknee
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  #2569020 21-Sep-2020 10:41
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Main difference will be this uses the customer’s device (phone) rather than the store’s device.

The retailer I work for has a similar app available to some customers - it’s fantastic not having to go through a register and wait in a queue.

Might have to do some grocery shopping in Ponsonby soon just to try Countdown’s.




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old3eyes
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  #2569025 21-Sep-2020 10:51
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Can't see this happening here in Morrinsville as both the Countdown and New World don't have any self checkout terminals  yet.  Guess they don't trust the southside bros. 





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DjShadow
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  #2569054 21-Sep-2020 11:07
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OldGeek:

 

The Countdown trial is another iteration of a technology that promises the avoidance of check-out counter delays.  As with the PaknSave scanners, the problem is how to stop shoppers stealing goods by putting them in the  trolley without scanning them.  The answer can only involve humans doing checks, meaning the checkout-delay still happens at least some of the time.  I am a former user of the PaknSave scanners - I stopped using them when every weekly shop required a 're-scan' despite no past record of dishonesty.

 

The only way to avoid check-out delays is online shopping.

 

 

Were you alternating between different Pak n Saves when this was happening? The lady at our one said rescans can be more frequent when doing this.


 
 
 
 


OldGeek
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  #2569056 21-Sep-2020 11:10
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DjShadow:

 

Were you alternating between different Pak n Saves when this was happening? The lady at our one said rescans can be more frequent when doing this.

 

 

No - always the same one (Porirua).  I just went back to conventional checkout.





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neb

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  #2569129 21-Sep-2020 12:01
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michaelmurfy:

Personally, I think that the Pak'n'Save system is better than the Countdown system as you're given actual scanners designed to read barcodes instead of using your phone. I can imagine people with cheaper phones having problems with the Countdown way of doing it.

 

 

As long as they don't get the MoH to do the barcodes I think things should be fine.

neb

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  #2569133 21-Sep-2020 12:09
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old3eyes:

Can't see this happening here in Morrinsville as both the Countdown and New World don't have any self checkout terminals yet.

 

 

Give it time, once they get the electrifications installed they can use it to run self-checkouts :-).

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  #2569215 21-Sep-2020 13:06
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neb:

 

As long as they don't get the MoH to do the barcodes I think things should be fine.

 

I can scan the Covid QR Codes at some distance away and their implementation is actually incredibly good - literally all data is contained in the barcode in an open JSON format compatible with other apps (like Rippl). So if you're having problems with them then you're using it wrong or just have a rubbish phone :)





Inphinity
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  #2569348 21-Sep-2020 14:59
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michaelmurfy:

 

neb:

 

As long as they don't get the MoH to do the barcodes I think things should be fine.

 

I can scan the Covid QR Codes at some distance away and their implementation is actually incredibly good - literally all data is contained in the barcode in an open JSON format compatible with other apps (like Rippl). So if you're having problems with them then you're using it wrong or just have a rubbish phone :)

 

 

 

 

Orr you've gone to one of the stores that blow them up to a 2mx2m massive poster size in a tiny space where you can't step back far enough to fit the whole thing in picture :P


mattwnz
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  #2569349 21-Sep-2020 15:01
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OldGeek:

 

The Countdown trial is another iteration of a technology that promises the avoidance of check-out counter delays.  As with the PaknSave scanners, the problem is how to stop shoppers stealing goods by putting them in the  trolley without scanning them.  The answer can only involve humans doing checks, meaning the checkout-delay still happens at least some of the time.  I am a former user of the PaknSave scanners - I stopped using them when every weekly shop required a 're-scan' despite no past record of dishonesty.

 

The only way to avoid check-out delays is online shopping.

 

 

 

 

You should have complained about that. My father had that problem, where he kept getting rescanned despite no preivous issues. Complaining fixed it. 


Shindig
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  #2571392 21-Sep-2020 15:50
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This was introduced in the UK a while ago, albeit it was with a hand held scanner. I've been out of the country for a decade now, so unsure if it still in use. Makes sense to me, to introduce this. I have always thought shopping was an inefficient process, with the number of 'touch' points per item. Where I can tag and bag in the isle, it makes complete sense, less touch points having to move the item from trolley to checkout conveyor belt and then into either bag or trolley (again). I hope it is a success





The little things make the biggest difference.


surfisup1000
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  #2571396 21-Sep-2020 15:57
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I wish countdown self checkout scanners could scan their own onecard barcodes ... I use the storcard app to store all my cards.  Storcard works at every store except countdown self checkout.  

 

Instead, I grab a new card each time I walk into a countdown because I hate carrying cards. 

 

Countdown have some misleading pricing if you don't use their card. I believe the commerce commission is investigating New world over the same misleading pricing. 

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/122607639/consumer-nz-says-new-world-price-labels-are-misleading

 

It makes you wonder why the CC is only investigating new world when countdown does exactly the same thing. 


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