This content is relevant for:Coronavirus / Digital Economy / E-Commerce
Germany’s Main Streets were well visited by shoppers keen to snap up a bargain on Black Friday. The first Advent weekend of the year providing a potential foretaste of things to come in city centers the length and breadth of the country in the weeks leading up to Christmas. But when millions of people fill the country’s shopping streets to buy Christmas gifts the question arises: How can the retail sector effectively manage crowds and queues at this difficult time? The situation is further complicated by the need to ensure effective payment measures compliant with coronavirus social distancing rules.
One part of the solution may lie in the trend towards partial and fully automated payment services. Recent weeks have seen a number of groundbreaking developments in Germany. The TEGUT supermarket chain has opened the country’s first fully automated supermarket in Fulda. The new Teo supermarket operates largely without employees, with digital scanning and payment being carried out by the shoppers themselves. This means that the mini-supermarket can be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Just a few days after TEGUT opened its Teo supermarket in Fulda, the first TYPY supermarket opened its digital gates in Düsseldorf’s Media Harbor. Orders are made online or on-site using the pyramid order terminal. Behind the scenes, a digital robot solution puts the order together in swift time for dispatch to the output area. Like Teo, the TYPY service is able to operate around the clock, seven days a week. TYPY makes use of an Internet-of-Things solution designed to respond to new consumer behaviors and a changing retail landscape. The Campo Group plans to open 200 new TYPY stores –catering to classic retail products, fresh and regional goods as well as fresh food – within the next three years.
According to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers and 50 retailers from Germany’s top 250 retail chains conducted by VR Payment, digitalization at the point-of-sale is an imperative. Lengthy checkout waiting times are perceived as being disruptive to the customer journey; with consumers and retailers in agreement that tomorrow’s retail outlets will be fully automated. Payment modalities are also changing as smartphones become more central to the shopping, ordering and payment process. The rise of mobile payment solutions and the move towards fully automated shopping are already providing a glimpse of the retail future and helping to combat the Covid-19 pandemic by speeding up the shopping process.