Once again a global leader steps up, stands out, this time leveraging technology too edify its relevance with its target consumers while edifying its operational standards according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
This time we are talking Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., one of the world’s largest convenience retailers, that recently announced it will deploy more than 10,000 Mashgin Touchless Checkout Systems branded as “Smart Checkout,” to over 7,000 of its Circle K and Couche-Tard stores during the next three years. The AI-powered self-checkout system developed by Mashgin will improve customer checkout times as much as 400%, driving customer experience forward while allowing store staff to focus their time on helping customers. View a short video of the Circle K Smart Checkout experience here.
The agreement with Mashgin launches the global deployment of the pioneering system, and represents one of the largest scale expansions of computer vision-powered checkout technology to date. It builds upon the successful deployment of Mashgin across nearly 500 Circle K locations in the U.S. and Sweden since 2020, as well as at Couche-Tard’s retail innovation lab store on the campus of McGill University in Montreal.
Referred to as “Smart Checkout” in Circle K and Couche-Tard stores, the Mashgin Touchless Checkout System is a compact countertop device that fits easily into the existing store layout. It uses computer vision to recognize items presented from virtually any angle and instantly ring them up in a single transaction. Customers place their items on the Mashgin Touchless Checkout System, which uses cameras to ring up everything in under a second. There is no need to download an app or find and scan barcodes; shoppers simply put items down, pay as they normally would, and are on their way in as little as 10 seconds – eight times faster than traditional self-checkout.
Mashgin Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, Mukul Dhankar stated, “Mashgin’s core technology represents a major breakthrough in the world of artificial intelligence. By reinforcing computer vision models with three-dimensional data, we are able to reach 99.9% accuracy when ringing items. This innovation also allows the system to easily differentiate between different sizes of items with a similar appearance, and also makes it flexible enough to recognize grab-and-go foods like pizza or roller grill items that may look slightly different each time. Another key component to our technology is its ability to learn new objects in less than a minute and sync that data across stores, making it possible to set up a new store in under an hour.”
Surveys of first-time Mashgin users at deployed Circle K locations show that 80% of those customers prefer Mashgin to traditional forms of checkout and self-checkout. Recent updates to the system to allow cash use, fuel purchase and key loyalty programs like Sip & Save have driven customer adoption. At some Circle K stores, Smart Checkout has already become customers’ favorite way to transact.
“We’ve been hearing great feedback from our customers in the stores where Smart Checkout has been introduced, and it’s easy to see why. Mashgin’s platform is incredibly simple to use and highly intuitive for customers,” says Alex Miller, Executive Vice President Operations, North America, and Global Commercial Optimization for Couche-Tard. “Through this agreement, I am convinced that we will scale a great tool that makes it easy for our customers and team members, saving time and putting our customers and people first in our global operations.”
Mashgin has processed over 40 million transactions to date and can be found in over 1000 locations, including Circle K and other convenience store chains, airports, Fortune 500 companies, and over 30 iconic U.S. sports stadiums and entertainment venues.
Mashgin and Couche-Tard are both actively recruiting multiple roles to help innovate retail experiences.
Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”. Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance. Call 253-759-7869 for more information.
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