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Are we about to enter a world of checkout-free shopping?

prophet

Who’d have thought a trip to the supermarket could take so long? You grab what you want, fill up your basket or trolley but then your shopping experience comes to a halt. Multiple staff, multiple checkouts and multiple customers queuing in each and every one of them. I’d like to say hundreds of customers, especially on the weekends. Weekends are the worst but, sometimes, you just can’t plan when you’re going for your next shop. That’s where Planckly comes in.

 

Planckly

 

Planckly is an app developed by TechWisely Ltd, a London based start-up. It’s essentially an app that can be run on your smartphone or your smartwatch. Regardless of which device it is used with, the camera is utilised to scan barcodes of items in a store. You essPlanckly_BasketPaid.pngentially scan, pay and go and that’s the ultimate purpose; to make your shopping experience super-fast and super-efficient.

 

This may sound familiar to you because you’re probably thinking of Amazon Go. However, Planckly’s intent is to make your shopping experience faster whilst reducing human interaction, as opposed to eliminating it altogether. Instead of having to go to a checkout and have every single item processed by a member of staff, Planckly’s process involves a retailer employee cross-checking one or more items from the shopper’s physical basket by scanning it on the retailer’s version of the app. This will indicate whether the buyer has scanned and paid for that item.

 

Whilst this involves some human interaction, it is to the seller’s benefit to help ensure items are being paid for and also prevents shoppers from having to wait in queues for long periods of time. In fact, this will reduce the time you’re in a store quite significantly, therefore a real benefit to shoppers. Moreover, stores will be able to eliminate the need for physical checkout counters and, in turn, reduce the number of staff. Alternatively, these members of staff could be useful in other areas of the business.  

 

 

 

One app. Multiple stores.

 

Whilst Planckly sounds great, it gets better. It is a single app for multiple stores, which means you can use Planckly to shop at multiple retailers. This is due to the API based architecture of the app, which allows it to be integrated very easily with the systems retailers currently use. Technicality aside, it’s a big advantage and will, no doubt, encourage shoppers to adopt this self-scanning shopping method. One device, one app, multiple retailers. What’s not to love?

 

Oh and it allows multiple devices to connect over Bluetooth, so if you’re not alone you can all add items to the basket but only one device will be used for payment. Nice.

 

Planckly_MultipleDevices.png

 

 

The app is currently available to download on the Google PlayStore and is yet to come to the App Store for iOS users.

 

Live in Dubai and Chicago

 

TechWisely have launched Planckly in a small grocery store in Dubai as well as a small chain of fast food stores in Chicago, USA. A supermarket chain in Singapore are currently interested in implementing Planckly in their stores, so there’s a great deal of potential. The company is also in contact with retailers across the world, including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Australia and of course our home; the UK. Let’s hope UK retailers jump on board with this as I can see it being very beneficial all-round. It’ll save them money for sure and, who knows, us shoppers may just get some savings passed onto us #winning. Well, let’s hope so Smiley Tongue

 

Thoughts

 

I’m keen to see Planckly live in the UK. I think it’s a great step forward and another way in which Technology is helping to make life much easier. Imagine not having to wait in a queue again. That’d be so awesome.

 

Sure, even if this kicks off in the UK, it’ll take some time before it’s adopted by many or majority of retailers but it’s a positive move regardless. I’m looking forward to self-scanning. I mean, I already do it at supermarkets now but Planckly will take that to a whole new level. Scan, pay, go. Bring it on.

 

If you want to know more, check out their official website.

 

What are your thoughts on being able to pay from your phone or your wrist? Let me know in the comments below and thank you for reading Smiley Happy

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Sadia produces tech reviews, tech tips & tutorial videos at XALIRATE and posts here on Wednesdays and Saturdays

 

 

 


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17 Comments
cicerone

Sounds good, though I wonder whether companies like Tesco who have invested in scan-as-you-shop will welcome it.

I can see a problem with shoplifting, unless there are other systems in place. Someone walks round pointing their phone at stuff they pocket/pack and then leaving the store ... How do you know it's been paid for? (For Tesco scan-as-you-shop you still go through a check-out.) I can see security struggling to spot shoplifters and well-meaning members of the public wrongly accusing others of being shoplifters. This sort of change goes beyond the actual users.

newcomer

Tesco and other supermarkets that have implemented their own app should find it easier to join the platform from a technical perspective. Planckly is complementary to thier existing apps so its not a competition. So they can keep thier own app but also allow shoppers to use Planckly in thier store. One key advantage they can get by being on Planckly is that they can know what the customer is buying from other stores i.e. someone buys branded goods from Tesco, fruits from Waitrose and bread from Sainsbury.. now if they all use their own app they can never build a complete picture of the user's preferences thus can never personalise teh discounts and offers correctly. So supermarkets should welcome it. However, UK supermarkets are taking time to digest the concept. We are in touch with Singapore and Dubai supermarkets and they are more receptive!

 

Your point on security and shoplifting is pretty fundamental. Planckly strikes a fine balance between costs/practicality of implementing a totally technology based solution e.g. AmazonGo (which as per thier own statements is not yet scalable to larger stores and by the looks of it, is certainly not economical to implement at a smaller store) and its benefits. Planckly frees up staff from behind the counters so more poeple can be on the shop floor. This provides first deterrant. Planckly then makes it super efficient for seller to check just a few items in the physical basket (seller just scans an item in the basket to know if it was paid for or not!). Seller can establish a policy of random checks on exit etc to provide a very strong deterrent to shoplifting. Even if every single customer is checked, the fact that only a few items in the trolly need to be checked will result in huge time savings - instead of 50 items you scan only 3!  It is physical (a check) and more importantly psychological (people will think very hard if they have to cheat a human checker as opposed to a machine). The random check principle is very well established in many other test situations and Planckly just makes it easier to implement in grocery store scenario. Key here is not that actual check itself but just the possibilty of such a check and consequences of being caught.

augur

I read about that before Not fully convinced about it yet I think it will take few more years to polish that technology

I think we're a few years away from checkout free shopping. It's a novel idea and a great time saver but I can't see Tesco, Sainsbury's, M&S, Waitrose and Morrisons adopting this technology anytime soon!

newcomer

Our mission is to move these giants so that they listen to consumers and help speed up the adoption of the technology. Time is right, technology behind this is fully mature now (APIs have been around for a few years now, AmazonGo has opened, almost all big stores have their own apps) but what we need to make them realise is that users dont want to have to download one app for each store.. if there is a single app that can be used in all these different stores with a simple user interface and process, people will adopt this method of shopping much more quickly.

 

What key hurdles do you see in its adoption?

 

newcomer

Can anyone help, I ordered a sim for a friend which was activated and topped up but can anyone tell why I have only been gave £2 payback and no credit which I was sure was one of the gifts for a friend activating the sim?

newcomer

You can help speed up the adoption of this tech to make life easier by supporting us on Kickstarter..

https://www.kickstarter.com/Planckly

 

Thanks a lot!

supporter

This would be awesome, when you're in a rush, to rush into the supermarket, scan the barcode on your phone, and rush off after only being in the store for 60 seconds!

whatever I said...

I can see in future you just fill your trolley with what you want. Get to a scanner that scans the whole trolley with barriers like they have at train stations Then pay by card in the machine then the barrier will open when its paid. It would only take seconds

It could happen

Bob

newcomer

Payment would be taken directly from your account.. one day we may all have chips inserted in our hands.. who knows what the future holds.. but in present we have Planckly.. not a bad choice Smiley Happy See you on Kickstarter!