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Improving shoppers' experiences: Checkout-free stores, how do they work? Updated: 2021-09-17 05:59:47 KST

There's no cashier at this checkout-free store.
To shop, you must either download a store app or register your credit or debit card at the kiosk machine.
Then, scan the QR code you received on your phone at the entrance gate.
Now, feel free to grab the items you want and just leave.

"I've just bought a few items and I'm going to walk out of the store… As you can see, a digital receipt appears on my phone, showing the items bought and the total amount charged."

This so-called "Just Walk Out" shopping employs several advanced technologies, such as computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning.
The store has 21 cameras to detect the movements of customers while high-tech sensors keep track of the items taken or returned to the shelves.
And a virtual assistant is at hand to guide you while you shop.

"Spharos, where are the masks?"
“You can find the mask on the shelf displayed on the screen.”

Customers find it easy to shop at the no cashier store as they don't have to queue at checkouts.

"It's really convenient. It's nice to buy things quickly and leave. I feel like there might be more people at lunchtime, but since there are no cashiers I think it's convenient to shop."

The pandemic has accelerated touch-free transactions as shoppers prefer to use remote payment options.
The added benefit of checkout-free stores is that people can avoid physical contact as there is no need to pass payment cards back and forth.
And this has led more stores to experiment with cashier-free shopping.

"With COVID-19, contactless services have become quite familiar to users, and are in demand. Also, considering the rising labor costs… and technological advances, setting up a checkout-free store has become relatively less costly than before."

The concept of an automated grocery store is not new.
It was first introduced in the U.S. by Amazon in late 2016, and now Amazon has around 30 automated stores around the world
Other countries, including the UK and China, are also rolling out checkout-free stores, reshaping the retail industry.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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