Zippin looks to zap pesky checkout lines
US startup Zippin is launching a concept store in San Francisco’s SOMA neighbourhood to showcase its automated shopping technology. It is offering access to this through private invitation, with the shop open for limited hours during the week beginning in mid-September.
The venture’s patent-pending approach uses AI, machine learning and visual cognition technology, to banish checkout lines and self-scanners. It says that its platform can be easily deployed by retailers.
“Consumer frustration with checkout lines is driving a tidal wave of demand among retailers and real estate owners keen to provide a frictionless retail experience,” says Zippin CEO, Krishna Motukuri. “With annual sales of grocery stores, convenience stores and quick-serve restaurants totalling nearly $1.6 trillion in the US alone, we believe there is a sizeable market opportunity for us to pursue.”
“Despite the popularity of shopping online, brick and mortar retail still accounts for more than 90% of all purchases made in the US. With Zippin, traditional retailers can now compete against e-commerce companies, which until now have had the advantage of leveraging a host of key data about their customers.”
Consumers download the Zippin app (available on iTunes and Google Play) and connect their preferred payment method. The app contains their store “key” or QR code which can be scanned to gain entry to a shop. Overhead cameras follow customers’ movements as they move around the store, without using face recognition. Cameras and smart shelf sensors track when and which products are picked up or put back. On leaving the store, customers receive a receipt detailing their charges.