The smart cart developed by the Israeli company Cust2Mate creates a new shopping experience that bypasses the checkout at the cashier. “Our solution allows retailers to completely eliminate queues, improve the customer experience, and increase revenue,” says Guy Mordoch, CEO
Haaretz Jan 23, 2024
The retail shopping experience is rapidly changing. Until recently, the shopping process in most stores worldwide has been conducted using the same traditional method: the customer takes a cart, places products in it, then pays for them at the checkout. But a new generation of intelligent retail solutions is revolutionizing the familiar shopping experience. With smart systems that streamline and improve the in-store shopping process, these solutions are reshaping retail.
Cust2Mate is one of the companies leading the technological revolution in the retail field. It employs about 30 employees and develops smart shopping carts that allow customers to scan products, pay for them in the cart, and receive context driven personalized offers. The entire shopping experience is carried out using the smart carts.
Guy Mordoch, CEO of Cust2Mate, explains that despite technological developments in recent years, most consumers still do not benefit from the new generation of retail solutions. “When you walk into the supermarket, you see that there’s been almost no change in recent years. The only thing being used is the self-checkout kiosk, which is considered a colossal failure as far as user experience, queues, and theft are concerned. The smart cart is the next step in the evolution of the supermarket checkout process. It will take retail to the next level, and the next step is to combine the online and offline experience.”
With more than 1,000 smart carts already delivered to customers, Cust2Mate has positioned itself as the leading player in the emerging market. “The cart we bring to the market is very comfortable and beautiful. It’s modular and it is based on a removable panel with a large touch screen that fits on any physical cart through a very simple installation process. We know how to accept payment in any currency and by every digital wallet possible, including Bitcoin. We will solve the problem of queues and staff shortages in the field. In other words, our solution allows retailers to completely take out queues from the equation.”
A retail revolution
According to Mordoch, smart carts are designed to solve some of the most significant challenges retailers are faced with. “Ultimately, retailers want to increase revenue and profitability, improve customer experience, reduce the operating costs of the stores, and prevent theft. The relevance of these challenges has only increased in recent years.
“Our solution prevents the possibility of in cart theft,” he notes. “There are five protection mechanisms on the cart, which combine a scanner, security scale, an artificial intelligence based camera, and RFID tagging. Our mechanisms make sure that the customer actually puts the products he was charged for in the cart and does not put in products he does not pay for. This is how we prevent, for example, a situation in which the customer takes expensive meat from the butcher counter and puts a chicken sticker on it. Above all, we have a smart mechanism that knows how to detect unusual activity. We defined a series of criteria that may indicate a customer attempting to steal, and triggering a mechanism that prevents the customer from making the payment.”
Mordoch predicts that deploying the smart carts would significantly reduce the operating costs of the store. “Fifty carts make it possible to cut out several POS lines, which is a huge cost saving. In the US, for example, staffing cashier positions is a serious problem. The smart cart allows the store manager to know where the customer is at all times, even at the level of tracking traffic jams in the aisles. This is critical information for managers.”
You talked about increasing revenue and profitability.
“Yes. The cart can generate additional revenue for retailers. It is possible to display personalized advertisements on the cart’s screen, based on the customer’s location in the store. For example, a customer walking in the beverage area receives an offer for a sale on a Diet Coke six-pack. Since the cart also knows which products have been put in it, we also have the ability to measure the effectiveness of the ads.”
Beyond the contribution of smart carts to retailers’ bottom line, they also make a significant contribution to the customer experience. “We create a simple shopping process,” Mordoch notes. “The customer goes into the store, puts things in the cart and takes the cart to the car. He doesn’t wait in line or anywhere. In addition, the customer connects to the cart through the customer club, so the cart knows him in advance. It offers the customer information about the products and gives him the option of uploading a shopping list. All these things create a shopping experience that is fun and user-friendly, which increases the shopping basket and their loyalty to the retailer.”
Hybrid and integrated solution
Unlike other companies in the smart retail world, the team behind Cust2Mate is made up of professionals with extensive experience in the retail world. “We are not a technology company but a retail company that has brought a technology-based solution,” Mordoch clarifies. “Our solution is both hybrid and integrative: the cart we developed incorporates artificial intelligence but does not depend on it.”
Mordoch believes that the smart cart revolution has been gaining momentum in recent years. “We see that the industry is starting to understand that this is the next thing. Almost all players in the retail industry have started looking into smart carts. There are those who are already in the advanced stages of a pilot, such as Carrefour, with whom we are working. It’s clear to everyone that this is the future direction of retail.”
What is your vision? where are you heading?
“I believe that within four to five years, hundreds of thousands of carts will be sold worldwide, every year and I am convinced that our share of this market will be very significant. We intend to maintain our position as a leading company and advance the capabilities of the retail world.”
In collaboration with Cust2Mate