7-Eleven is moving forward with efforts to make in-store shopping as frictionless as possible.
The convenience giant is piloting a 700-sq.-ft. cashierless store with employees at its Irving, Texas, headquarters. To test the store, employees download an app, sign up, check in at the store, enter the store, shop and exit. A detailed receipt appears in the app automatically after the customer exits.
A proprietary mixture of algorithms and predictive technology enables the store system to separate individual customers and their purchases from others in the store. The concept store offers an assortment of the most popular products sold in regular 7-Eleven stores, including beverages, snacks, food, groceries, over-the-counter drugs, and non-food items. The retailer will continue to refine the product mix.
"Ultimately, our goal is to exceed consumers' expectations for faster, easier transactions and a seamless shopping experience," said Mani Suri, 7-Eleven senior VP and CIO. “This in-house, custom built technology by 7-Eleven engineers is designed for our current and future customers. We continue to innovate, and coupling fresh, innovative, healthy food options with a frictionless shopping experience could be a game-changer."
7-Eleven’s latest effort to remove friction from the brick-and-mortar experience comes on the heels of its August 2019 introduction of mobile self-checkout at stores in New York City. Mobile self-checkout is integrated into the 7Rewards loyalty program in the retailer’s mobile app. Customers open the app in-store, tap a button, scan the product barcode to add it to their basket with automatically applied discounts or promotions, and pay for purchases using Apple Pay, Google Pay or a debit or credit card. A QR code appears in the app once payment is made, which customers then scan at a confirmation station to confirm purchase.
Like its cashierless store, 7-Eleven initially tested mobile self-checkout with employees at its headquarters. The retailer also followed up with some live testing in select Dallas stores.