With more consumers seeking contactless payment options amid the coronavirus outbreak, Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) has teamed up with FutureProof Retail (FPR) to provide mobile checkout to its independent grocery members.
Under the partnership, FutureProof will offer its mobile self-scanning checkout and counter-service platforms as a “no-touch technology solution” to AWG retailers, the New York-based payment specialist said Tuesday.
FutureProof said that, to help retailer, it will donate its checkout solution free to supermarkets and other grocery stores while the United States remains under a national state of emergency, which President Trump declared on March 13. Members of Kansas City, Kan.-based AWG also will receive “preferential pricing” beyond this phase of the pandemic, the tech provider added.
“FutureProof Retail’s Self-Scanning Solution helps our members compete favorably in all markets served because it allows independent supermarkets to eliminate wait times at checkout and service counters, and it also enables social distancing in stores,” Stacy Bowen, vice president of sales and solutions at AWG, said in a statement. “It provides all required features out of the box and is easy to adapt and integrate into the existing store systems and processes.”
Using the FutureProof platform, shoppers can scan products with their smartphone and bag them while shopping. They then can skip the checkout lines by making payment and completing the transaction on their phone. Customers, too, can use the solution to order prepared food or deli items at in-store service counters while shopping and receive a notification when their order is ready for pickup.
AWG member McKeever Enterprises, which operates about 10 Price Chopper supermarkets in the Kansas City area, has already deployed the FutureProof technology.
“We are always looking for ways to enhance our customers’ experience and make their shopping trip quick and more efficient,” according to Tim Cosens, director of merchandising, marketing and technology at Independence, Mo.-based McKeever Enterprises. “We felt FPR’s solution was the perfect fit to accomplish that mission.”
As retailers of all stripes look to promote social distancing, self-scanning provides a way to lower the risk of exposure for customers and store associates, since shoppers won’t need to wait in a line. Grocery retailers like Publix, Kroger and Walmart, among others, have highlighted contactless payment as a safer method of completing transactions amid the pandemic.
What’s more, many shoppers already are looking for more convenient ways to make payments in stores. According to a recent study by Inmar Intelligence, 69% of shoppers would like to use a retailer’s mobile app to self-scan products and check out.
“We are excited to help AWG members increase customer convenience,” commented Di Di Chan, President of FutureProof Retail. “Being part of AWG’s retail systems portfolio combined with our free service offer makes it easy for AWG members to enter frictionless shopping without a huge upfront investment.”
The nation’s largest food cooperative for independent grocers, AWG serves more than 1,000 member companies and over 3,000 locations in 28 states from eight full-line wholesale divisions.