- The supermarket giant Kroger has partnered with the smart-shopping-cart company Veeve.
- Insider swung by an Indiana Kroger to test the carts with Veeve CEO Shariq Siddiqui.
- “What we’re really doing is watching the customer shop,” Siddiqui told Insider.
With contactless shopping on the rise, smart shopping carts are no longer a futuristic fancy. This technology can be found in stores across the country.
Amazon and its Dash Carts have received the most attention in the contactless-shopping space. But Veeve, founded by the Amazon alumni Shariq Siddiqui and Umer Sadiq, is now winning favor with some retailers.
The startup hopes to make contactless shopping more accessible to retailers by eliminating the costly camera setup that Dash Carts require. Veeve incorporates all the technology needed into the cart, including barcode scanning and computer-vision technology. Earlier this year, Instacart entered the space, too, through its acquisition of the smart-cart manufacturer Caper.
Veeve has partnered with the grocery giants Albertsons and Kroger for several limited pilots. Siddiqui told Insider that the COVID-19 pandemic had “accelerated” the demand for smart carts.
“Retailers are trying to figure out, ‘What’s the best way to bring customers back into the stores?'” he said. “And customers are trying to figure out, ‘How do I walk into a store, do a quick transaction where nobody touches my stuff, and then I just walk out?'”
Siddiqui credits Amazon’s Dash Cart play with prompting a flood of interest from retailers like Kroger, Albertsons, Walmart, and Target.
“That was the moment for us where we were like, ‘Hey, we can really accelerate this demand,'” he said.
To learn more about the technology, I visited a Kroger in Avon, Indiana, and met up with Siddiqui, who serves as Veeve’s CEO. We took a turn around the store, picking up different items to test out Veeve’s Krogo cart.