500 UK convenience stores to deploy new Scan & Go app by Christmas

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 Jisp and Scandit have partnered with the Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) to give convenience store owners across the country the chance to offer shoppers a digital, frictionless shopping experience just like the big stores.

There are around 46,000 convenience stores in the UK, which have played a crucial role in helping communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, smaller retailers struggle to market themselves to today’s always-on shoppers. They often lack the skills, technology or resources to digitise and compete with larger supermarket chains.

That’s why Jisp and Scandit are helping convenience stores deliver the contactless service and digital relationships today’s customers expect. The Jisp app enables ‘Scan & Go’ shopping instead of queuing at tills, provides Home Delivery and Click & Collect functionality, and opens up new opportunities for digital engagement. 

The app is powered by Scandit’s computer vision technology which turns everyday smartphones into powerful barcode scanners. With support from the NFRN, the intention is to roll out to 500 independent retailers by the end of the year, so convenience stores can now deliver competitive and frictionless Scan & Go shopping.

Paul Davis, vice president of Sales at Scandit, said: ‘Independent retailers have always understood the value of convenience, but providing it has become harder in today’s digital-first environment. However, by embedding high-performance scanning technology into a mobile shopping app, stores can deliver the fast, frictionless service their customers have come to expect.’

The first deployment will be at Hightown Convenience Store, in Congleton, Cheshire, with the owner Steve Archer trying out the app’s Scan & Go capabilities. With the app downloaded, customers start their shop by scanning a QR code located on Jisp’s Payment Pod located at the store entrance. They then simply scan items as they move through the store and scan the displayed QR code at the Payment Pod a final time to complete the purchase.

The Scan & Go experience rivals the speed and convenience of contactless, self-service options available at larger retailers. The service is expected to increase footfall and total basket value, and will help convenience store owners serve more customers, more quickly.

“Local retailers have played a significant role in serving their communities during lockdown. The fact that our customers will now be able to simply scan and go in my store, means that we can offer our customers an even safer environment,” Archer comments.

“Purely and simply, this technology levels the playing field. My store will be offering something that has previously only been available at the big supermarkets. So now we can show people we are positively enhancing our offering and it allows my little shop to compete with the big boys.”

The app will give retailers a direct, one-to-one digital relationship with their customers. The app also gives convenience stores the ability to market themselves outside of the store, strengthening the customer relationship, loyalty and retention. For example, they can hold weekly quizzes for repeat customers through their smartphones, advertise events happening in their local communities and offer unique deals and offers through the app.

“We want to give smaller businesses a bigger voice,” said Julian Fisher, CEO and founder at Jisp. “So, we’re helping to bring independent retailers into the digital age by empowering them with technology only previously afforded by superstores. And, in the age of COVID-19, we want customers to feel safer when shopping with Scan & Go, spending less time queuing and more time enjoying the experience they get when using our app.”

Currently, numerous NFRN members have signed up for the Jisp implementation, and the roll-out is expected to reach 500 stores by Christmas. The deployment is intended to boost service standards for customers and increase the success of the membership.

NFRN national president Stuart Reddish commented: “What we appreciate about the app is that it gives our members immediate digital access to their customers. Commerce has been moving increasingly online for many years, and the impact of COVID-19 will only accelerate this. The larger players have usually had the advantage when it comes to resources, but the Jisp app will empower us to digitise and provide a more modern customer experience. Shoppers can pay quickly and easily and, in the post Covid-19 environment, this will satisfy their preferences for not handling cash.”