It appears 7-Eleven is taking a page out of Amazon's playbook.
The convenience store chain is piloting a cashierless store concept at its corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas, similar to the Amazon Go concept that launched in January 2018. If expanded beyond the company's headquarters, the cashierless concept would go head to head with Amazon Go, which sells similar food and beverage items to 7-Eleven stores.
The 700-square-foot space is open to 7-Eleven employees. Here's how it works: 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 exiting.
A proprietary mixture of algorithms and predictive technology enables the store system to separate individual customers and their purchases, according to the c-store retailer.
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"Ultimately, our goal is to exceed consumers' expectations for faster, easier transactions and a seamless shopping experience," said Mani Suri, 7-Eleven senior-vice president and chief information officer, in a press release announcing the pilot. "Introducing new store technology to 7-Eleven employees first has proven to be a very productive way to test and learn before launching to a wider audience. They are honest and candid with their feedback, which enables us to learn and quickly make adjustments to improve the experience.
The cashierless concept marks another tech advancement from 7-Eleven. Last year, it introduced Mobile Checkout, allowing customers to skip the line and pay using their smartphone.
The c-store operator also added 7NOW Pins to its mobile app so customers can place orders and have them delivered to public places including park benches or the beach.