January 31, 2021

Will smart carts like KroGO be part of the new normal in grocery aisles?

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Will smart carts like KroGO be part of the new normal in grocery aisles?

Smart grocery carts have been in the news over the last couple of months. First, Amazon’s Dash Cart and now Kroger’s KroGO Cart powered by Caper.There are other technologies that let customers skip the checkout lane,but the newest generation of smart carts is significant because it brings capabilities that benefit both customers and retailers – also,these smart carts  don’t require the hassles and cost of complicated installation.

For customers - Better/Faster shopping

Eliminating the checkout line is the primary benefit, but smart carts like KroGO also deliver a more seamless in-store shopping experience by providing:

  • Wayfinding capabilities that help customers locate categories and individual items.
  • A built-in scale to record random weight items.
  • Digital screens that:
    • Deliver personalized promotions and recommendations in the aisles.
    • Show the price of each item as it’s put in the cart and track the total spending for the trip.
  • A credit card terminal that makes payment easy.

The smart carts also offer more control and efficiency as customers bag their own groceries as they shop and can leave the store right after payment is made.

For retailers - A way to compete

The big benefit is the “stickiness” that smart carts have with regular shoppers. Customers really like the time-saving convenience and increased control once they’ve learned to use smart carts.

In today's market, "speed to shop" has joined price and quality as the main drivers impacting where consumers chose to shop, per dunnhumby's recent Annual Retailer Preference Index study.

In addition, retailers also gain several other wins including:

  • The ability to deliver additional services, such as letting customers know a prescription or custom deli order is ready for pickup
  • Continuous insight into how customers are shopping different aisles of the store.
  • Labor savings from not having to check out and bag some customer orders.
  • Lower cost and reduced hassle enabled by plug and play installation.


As significant as the advantages of smart carts are, food retailers need to do two things to get the maximum value from them.

1. Speed up adoption of use by helping customers learn how to work with smart carts.

Without this additional training, utilization at many stores will remain at single-digit penetration levels. Customer training can triple that number.

2. Adopt an effective method to reduce underpaying .

One solution is random audits, but these can upset customers. Another is limiting access to top spending, regular customers who will appreciate the recognition and are less likely to abuse the system in a store where they have established personal relationships.

Check out KroGO in action