Carrefour Belgium was the first in the Carrefour Group to introduce the innovative shopping method of self-scanning with Re-Vision in a pilot store in September 2009. The new technology quickly gained a high level of customer acceptance, largely due to the progressive marketing campaign developed by Carrefour Belgium. Based on this successful pilot, they started to roll-out the system to hypermarkets and supermarkets across Belgium in March 2010.
The first supermarket of what now constitutes Carrefour Belgium was open way back in 1860 under the name “Bon Marché”. This was in fact a warehouse with free entrance and officially labeled pricing on the goods – quite a novelty back then in Belgium. This was followed by the opening of the first “‘Grand Bazar du Bon Marché” in Antwerpen in 1885. The first shop of the “Sarma” chain was open in 1928, “Priba” – in 1932, “Nopri” in 1933 and “Unic” in 1952, all of them later became part of Carrefour Belgium.
Carrefour has always been known in Belgium for its customer-oriented philosophy. The broadest product selection, best service and the best value for money – these are the values Carrefour is committed to.
Self-scanning was first introduced at Carrefour Belgium in September 2009 as an initiative aimed to improve the customer shopping experience. As the result of a very positive pilot, Carrefour started to roll-out the system to its hypermarkets and supermarkets across Belgium in March 2010. Carrefour installed the devices in large volumes, with between 150-200 terminals per store.
Mr. Walter Simons, Director Business Solutions IT-Stores at Carrefour Belgium, comments: “After extensive market research and an in-depth selection process, we chose the Motorola MC17T retail mobile computer powered by the My-Scan software solution from Re-Vision to support the roll-out. This best-of-breed combination provided us with the required functionality and integration flexibility”.
One of Carrefour’s requirements was to be able to integrate self-scanning with the loyalty system already in place. Now the customers use their existing loyalty cards to identify themselves when picking up the scanner at the shop entrance. The scanner displays a personalized greeting “Welcome Mr. Smith” – which the customers find very attractive. The My-Scan system from Re-Vision implemented at Carrefour is fully integrated with the POS system as well to ensure seamless day-to-day operation. Developed and continually updated to support a very high volume of transactions, My-Scan delivers rich functionality to meet the complex needs of large enterprise organizations. Thanks to the centralized architecture, one of the world’s largest retailers is able to manage the system in a single centralized support environment, to set the parameters on the HQ level and to benefit from a centralized Customer Database.
During the next phase of the project Carrefour Belgium are planning to implement promotions which will be communicated to the customer directly on the scanner screen, and use self-scanning as a platform for further developing future in-store innovations.
This is how it works
At the entrance, the customer identifies themselves via their loyalty card and takes a device from the scanner wall. They then use it to selfscan the barcodes on the products before placing them into their trolley. Having finished their shopping trip, the customer then proceeds to the dedicated or traditional checkout to complete their shopping.
“Our main goal was to make the shopping trip quick and enjoyable, from the moment our
customer enters the store until the check-out. With My-Scan self-scanning solution we are offering our customers better service” – Mr. Simons explained.
At Carrefour Belgium customers now benefit from a higher level of service because of the convenience of shopping with self-scan. They are now able to scan and pack as they shop and they no longer have to unload and re-load their groceries at the checkout. This also means that their items are only handled once and all that remains to do at the checkout is pay. The checkout process could not be simpler, because of the dedicated self-scan checkouts; the self-scan shopper does not need to wait in line anymore. They simply pay in their preferred way and are ready to go.
The hand scanner helps customers to manage their budget since it always displays a running total of all items scanned. The clear and simple display shows a list of all items and customers can scroll up and down to check what they have scanned. The whole experience for the customer is both quick and enjoyable. In addition, introducing self-scanning enabled Carrefour to use their staff more effectively to serve customers around the store, helping them during their shopping trip and through the checkout process.
What about customer acceptance?
The challenge of gaining customer acceptance often holds back the decision to embrace self-scanning technology. At Carrefour, a special marketing programme was developed to ensure customers were aware of the benefits of self-scanning. People are naturally wary of new technology, however research has shown that once someone has used self-scanning, they find it a fast and efficient way to shop and tend to stay loyal to the system, and hence to the store.
Interestingly enough, Carrefour was unable to determine a particular type of customer who favours self-scanning; the system is used by customers of all age groups and education levels. Once the rollout is complete, Carrefour estimates that they will have 25% of customers using SelfScan.