Introduced 84 years ago in a Humpty Dumpty supermarket in Oklahoma City, and save for Aldi’s nifty coin-enabled lock innovation, changed very little since, the shopping cart could become a significant vehicle in a race toward checkout-free grocery shopping that is very much up for grabs. Stores today are experimenting with a variety of options ranging from purpose-built small stores to the newly born chain of Amazon Fresh grocery stores, all eight of which feature a proprietary smart cart it calls Amazon Dash.
Though still in the testing stage, Kroger appears to be putting some effort behind its presentation of the sleek KroGO cart, including custom branding, store signage, dedicated webpages and a promotional online video. In Cincinnati, it encouraged trial of the new cart by offering shoppers a 5% discount on Kroger-branded items bought while using it.
KroGO joins other recent initiatives at the company—including a massive forthcoming rollout of online shopping capabilities supported through an exclusive U.S. partnership with Ocado—intended to support what officials call a “seamless” and convenient shopping experience mimicking the relative ease of online shopping. That mission has taken on additional gravity amid a pandemic that’s turned the checkout lane—long identified as an unpleasant experience for physical store shoppers—into one that also introduces risks of virus transmission. That is acknowledged in Kroger’s messaging around the KroGO offering, which promises its “fastest checkout ever,” and promotional signage reading, “Faster checkout. Less contact.”Winsight Grocery Business