RFID Initiative report: MyGROCER | IDTechEx Research Article
May 24, 2004
The European Commission MyGROCER project is one of the most ambitious trials to date to consider what value-added grocery shopping options might be available to a shopper in an auto-ID enabled supermarket. Funded under the Information Society Technologies (IST) programme, the project aimed to design the shopping experience of the future, and then test it on real customers. This was supported by technical partners including Nokia, retail partners including Proctor & Gamble, and collaboration with Athens University and Helsinki University of Technology.
At the centre of the MyGROCER system is a shopping cart with a touch screen and RFID/barcode scanner attached. This is connected wirelessly to the supermarket network. MyGROCER outlined to IDTechEx the following benefits for the consumer when using this modified cart:
- On entering the store, the shopper identifies themselves by swiping their loyalty card through the terminal. This then displays the users shopping list of frequent purchases and any shopper-specific discounts on offer.
- As the shopper scans items into their cart, additional information about the products appear on the screen (recipie suggestions, nutritional information, 2 for 1 offers etc.) and that item is crossed off the shopping list.
- The terminal can aid in-store navigation, helping the shopper find their way quickly to the items they want to purchase by displaying a map on the screen.
- The check-out procedure is designed to be automatic, eliminating queues.
The system was trialled in 2 specially enabled stores, one in Greece and one in Finland. Of the 60 participants in Greece, 88% said that the modified cart sped-up their shopping trip, and 97% stated that it made their shopping easier. They also really appreciated the automated check-out and continuous monitoring of the total value of the cart's contents. The results were similar in Finland, where every one of the 30 participants said that they would use MyGROCER when it became available.