The future of post-pandemic retail has spurred the “just get out” tech movement, where high-tech companies, like Israel’s Trigo, have harnessed artificial intelligence and computer vision to power technology without payments and help customers. to avoid long dying lines, and to each other.
From amazon “Just Walk Out” technology has been the undisputed leader of this trend so far, and is poised to go even further in 2021. Meanwhile, competitors, such as Trigo, are increasing rapidly.
The Tel Aviv-based startup behind a platform that can be deployed in a variety of grocery stores for automatic payment has since announced partnerships with big-name supermarkets such as REWE in Germany, Aldi Nord in the Netherlands, and Tesco in the UK.
Meanwhile, Amazon announced early last year thatt would start selling the technology behind its cashierless stores Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh to third-party retailers, the e-commerce giant has just begun testing its technology at Whole Foods, the US supermarket chain. acquired for $ 13 billion in 2017.
Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s boxless grocery store, has 19 locations in the US and six locations in the UK. But Trigo’s chief operating officer, Jenya Beilin, still refuses to call him a competitor.
“We are happy to be mentioned in the same [company] Like Amazon, ”Beilin tells NoCamels,“ Amazon is driving the market, which is great because I think they are showing that it is possible. It’s working and customers are enjoying this experience and our partners see this and say, ‘Hey, we want that too.’ Like Trigo, we help you get there with the same customer experience. But for now, they [Amazon] They have a technology that is a little different from what we do because they have the privilege of building the stores from scratch. They take real estate and build it to feed technology, where they can control everything. “
Meanwhile, partnerships with supermarket chains like Tesco mean that Trigo can roll out its technology in stores that have been around successfully for some time with “retailers that have been in the market for years,” Beilin explains.
“And I think this is the biggest difference between us and Amazon,” he says, “Amazon has to go and build its stores from scratch. They have to find a location. They need to build it to adapt to technology. “
Supermarket chains partner with Trigo
Founded in 2017, Trigo exited stealth mode a year later with $ 7 million in seed funding to implement its sophisticated computer vision platform for unpaid purchases. The platform allows customers to pick up items and leave, while retailers automatically upload them via smartphones. Do not carry cash and do not stand in line. Since then, Trigo has partnered with Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, to bring its platform to stores in Tel Aviv. The company has also confirmed that it has raised more than $ 100 million in funding, including a $ 22 million Series A in 2019, a $ 60 million Series B in December 2020, and another $ 10 million announced in June 2021.
Trigo’s goal, to implement its technology in existing stores without disrupting the design or character of the store, has had its share of challenges, but feedback has been positive and the success rate high, particularly at the Tesco Express store in 225 square meters in High. Holborn, in central London in the UK, says Beilin.
The world’s third-largest retailer has been testing the Trigo platform since 2018, but its first live rollout only took place last month. Customers were able to use a QR scanner in the Tesco app to check in at the branch, select food and leave without queuing to pay. They will be charged with the card linked to their Tesco app and will receive the receipt after leaving the store. Trigo would provide the cameras and AI-powered infrastructure for the store.
“When we went live, it got a lot of attention,” he says, “And at High Holburn, there were a lot of people intrigued by that. In the following days, we saw the same people go back to shopping. So the first time it was, ‘Hey, let’s see what this is. It’s interesting. ‘
“I think customers were very surprised that it really worked and how accurate it was going to be,” adds Beilin, “I think everyone expected to have some bugs and glitches, but not with the level of precision that we provided,” he said. he says, noting that most of the reactions were toward the ease and speed of the experience.
Trigo’s technology was also rolled out in Germany’s second-largest supermarket chain last month. The company announced a partnership with REWE Group in May and added its platform to the store just five months later.
Wheat too Announced Its technology will power an Aldi Nord grocery store in the central Dutch city of Utrecht, the country’s fourth-largest city. Beilin says that the modernization of the store, where Trigo installs its technology in the current design of the store, is still in process.
“We are very excited to have multiple partners. These retailers see and share the same vision that we have in terms of how we can deliver this customer experience, “says Beilin,” it was amazing to partner with them because we share the same vision. “
“They are very different in the way they operate: a different region, a different country, a different way they structure their supply chain and everything, but they all want to provide the best customer experience for buyers,” he adds, ” Obviously there are minor differences in how they integrate and how they do their mobile apps and other technical details.
“This is where we see a huge advantage for Trigo,” he continues, “It is very important for Tesco buyers to see Tesco. They don’t want to buy from a lab. I think the goal for us is to make sure we offer the solution to the retailers because they are the ones who serve the customers. They know their customers better and their customers want to buy from Tesco. “
Plans for the USA
Beilin tells NoCamels that Trigo is in advanced negotiations with several grocery retailers in the US who are interested in its no-pay technology. While declining to comment on who they are, he said the partnerships with Tesco and REWE “should be a good boost for those retailers who are a bit hesitant about our technology, to see that we can deliver.”
The future is bright for Trigo, Beilin says, as the company continues to target two different long-term goals for its computer vision technology. The first is to expand the store’s footprint. Beilin says the company is looking to include its technology in much larger stores and supermarkets.
“We see huge potential with our partners and what technology can achieve there,” he says.
The second goal is global expansion and the addition of new retailers, including in the US, to launch the first stores. The company also wants to keep track of its existing customer base and continue to grow with them.
“We’re going to expand and actually move it to the phase where it’s not just one or two stores; actually, it’s a business where we can start converting a lot of stores. And those retailers have hundreds and thousands of stores, ”says Beilin.
“This is the next evolution, our next step for Trigo and our partners. Let’s scale this, ”he adds.