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Mobile-driven acceleration of in-store shopping experience
July 1, 2020

In France, as elsewhere, queuing time appears as one of top customer pain points: 38% French customers consider that 5 minutes is the maximum acceptable queuing time.  When we “double click” on the whole check out process, scanning articles appears as the predominant time consuming task (from 20 to 30 articles scanned per minute on average). This was the starting point of our reflexion about in-store shopping!

Back in 2012, to satisfy customer expectations, Carrefour France launched a Self Scanning service and it was the first step to Scan’lib by phone. In this version, customers use a store-owned mobile device to scan each product one by one.) before adding them in their basket. They have a view on the fly when it comes to total basket amount, as well as promotions. During  checkout, customers do not need to take the items out of their basket and just have to pay at the cashier.
This new experience was a revolution for Carrefour customers and benefits for them were important: 

  • Time saving: articles are scanned run-of-river during shopping journey
  • Less products’ manipulations : products are not required to be put on the cashier conveyor belt 
  • Less stress: customers do not grasp queuing time when they shop

In-store shopping with Scan’lib by phone, a major step forward for our customers 

Experience and journey are quite similar, except two key points: 

1) First of all, store-owned mobile devices have been replaced by customer smartphones. This change was particularly expected by our customers given Covid context. Customers now have all the benefits of a Scan & pay journey without manipulating not-owned devices. .
2) Second key change for our customers : they do not need to have a loyalty card anymore to use this service. The shopping experience is therefore even better!

From the store’s point of view, Carrefour collaborator spent less time cleaning and manipulating the store’s devices and can thus spend more quality time to satisfy customers’ requests. 

How does scan’lib by phone work?

First and foremost, the customer has to download the application on the Apple store or on Google Play. Then, he can scan a QR code within the store while shopping, or take the application directly from each store.

After installing the program and entering his loyalty card number, the customer can start his shopping session after choosing a store.

The choice of the store is not definitely frozen: of course customers can change it if needed. At each store change, the customer must be registered on the local store server.

To ensure a more fluid customer journey, we added geolocation that can automatically detect the store where the customer is. We also display the list of the stores while taking into account the distance for the user. 

In which stores this application is available ?

This application is available in 171 Carrefour Hypermarkets (same list for the scanlib application). We started the activation in June and finished all the applicable stores by July 8 2020. We are planning the implementation in three additional stores in 2020, making a total of 174 hypermarkets stores offering this service.

What are the next steps?

First, we would like to allow the customer to start a shopping session without being registered in the store. For this step, we decided to allow a customer to use scan’lib. Whether it is with the store’s device or by its own smartphone. The customer will only have to be registered in our CRM system. We have connected 40 stores to our CRM system and plan to connect all French stores by the end of this year. In these stores the customers can start a shopping session directly!

Secondly, we will introduce Scan&go. The service will allow our customers to shop in a store in total autonomy, without paying at the traditional cashiers. The customers will be able to pay directly through their smartphone. If experimentation goes well, we will implement this project in 2021.

To conclude, we wanted to share with you some key results:

  • The “Scan’lib by Phone” application immediately met its audience where it was deployed. In the Villiers-en-Bière Carrefour Hypermarket, more than 500 customers used it in the first week after launch 
  • 171 stores offer this functionality since June (for the first stores) 
  • 45 486 transactions completed using Scan’lib by phone. 

As you can see, the first results enabled us to positively change the in-store shopping experience of our customers! We are looking forward to continuing the roll out of Scan’lib by phone.

Don’t forget to check out the other articles about operations!

About the Author

Project manager Senior IT Retail Joao is a project manager with more than 15 years of experience in integration of new applications combining relationships and innovation.

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