You can only pay with your smartphone at this 7-Eleven store
The new concept store in Melbourne is cashless and has no checkouts.
7-Eleven has launched a new cashless and cardless concept store where customers shop using only their smartphones. The store, in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond, will see customers scan products they want to purchase and complete the purchase using an app. The store also has no checkouts.
Chief executive officer of 7-Eleven Angus McKay said eliminating queues was a key element of the mobile checkout concept.
"In the new concept store, customers will notice the absence of a counter. The store feels more spacious and customers avoid being funnelled to a checkout location creating a frictionless in-store experience," he said.
7-Eleven's concept is not unlike the Amazon Go stores that have now been launched in four locations throughout the US. The key difference with 7-Eleven's concept store is that shoppers will need to physically scan items into their app while purchases are automatically detected in Amazon Go stores using machine learning, computer vision and AI.
Walmart in Canada has also done something similar, launching "fast lanes" for shoppers that scan items as they shop. They then receive a barcode to pay at designated counters. While some of Australia's largest chain stores such as Coles, Woolworths and Kmart have launched their own fast lanes for customers that self-scan, none have incorporated digital payment solutions.
7-Eleven's concept store will still have 7-Eleven team members but they will be focused on "greeting and assisting", according to the company.
To shop at the concept store, customers need to download the app and create a user profile. This includes linking their credit card and uploading a selfie. They are then able to scan the items they want to purchase and pay via the app.
McKay says the Melbourne store is the first in the company's continued focus on providing ultimate convenience.
"This year we're trialling a catering service, and we're thinking about ways to provide an extraordinary experience to more customers, more often, in more ways that suit them. That might be delivery, it might be micro store formats. We're trying to push the notion of 'convenience' to its absolute limit."