7-Eleven Pilots New Cashierless Store Concept

The pilot project uses proprietary algorithms and predictive technology to separate customer transactions.

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Need to Know 

  • 7-Eleven is testing out a cashierless store concept with its employees in its Irving, Texas headquarters. 
  • The shopping experience begins with an app download. Customers sign in to the app and then check into the store upon arrival. Once they’ve checked in customers can shop an assortment of popular 7-Eleven items, and then when finished, they simply leave the store.
  • A detailed receipt appears in the app, the moment the customer exits the store.  
  • Individual customer purchases are kept separate from others shopping in the store by with a combination of proprietary algorithms and predictive technology built into the system.  

Analysis

7-Eleven is joining the growing list of customer-first retail spaces with its new cashierless pilot. With the goal of creating a frictionless customer experience, the convenience store chain has begun testing the concept with plans for a 700 square-foot test store located in its headquarters. 

The concept will be tested with employees, but the chain has big plans for its rollout should the tests prove successful. “Ultimately, our goal is to exceed consumers’ expectations for faster, easier transactions and a seamless shopping experience,” Mani Suri, 7-Eleven SVP and CIO, said to Chain Storage Age

In August of 2019, the chain unveiled mobile self-checkout at locations in New York City. Integrated with the 7Rewards loyalty program in the retailer’s mobile app, the mobile self-checkout allowed customers to scan and pay for items without interacting with store employees. 

“Retail technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and customer expectations are driving the evolution,” said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. “Our team is dedicated to continuing 7-Eleven’s legacy of innovation with industry-leading digital solutions. Most recently, that has included our award-winning 7Rewards loyalty platform, 7NOW on-demand delivery, mobile checkout and now our new cashierless store.”

Operating franchises and licenses in more than 70,000 stores in 17 countries, the chain’s push for seamless customer experiences places them in a better position to fight against giants like Amazon. Although the two may not appear to be fighting for the same customer, both retailers continue to expand their product offerings, blurring the line of distinction. 

Amazon Go—Amazon’s cashierless concept—has been a huge success for the online retailer. In their last expansion announcement, Amazon revealed that new Amazon Go locations will now feature convenience stores, supermarkets, and pop-up kiosks, inching them closer to 7-Eleven’s territory. 

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