Hybrid checkout-free supermarket in the center of Germany’s capital
The whole process, of finding the right partner, took roughly about a year. We traveled the world, spoke to some big tech corporations, also visited many startups, and then we finally decided on Trigo…The privacy issue, the whole data protection issues, are very sensitive topics in Germany. And we are a trusted company, and we want our customers to trust us on privacy issues as well. Trigo worked with the very strict regulations that we have here in Germany.
Schönhauser Allee is one of the most important streets in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood in Berlin. Prenzlauer Berg’s central location within Germany’s capital, together with the trendy cafes, pubs, restaurants, and clubs that create a unique mix of day and nightlife, make it a must-visit destination for tourists traveling to the city.
Prenzlauer Berg is also known for its beautiful architecture and many galleries, making it one of the hubs of the Berlin art scene. A mix of artists, young, upper-middle-class families, and visitors from around the world can be seen strolling the streets filled with gorgeous buildings from the Wilhelmine era.
A second store: a hybrid supermarket
Following the success of REWE’s first hybrid “Pick&Go” store in Cologne, they chose Berlin as the home for their next hybrid, frictionless checkout experience. This store is nearly double the size of the Cologne store at around 400 square meters, featuring nearly 10,000 products and giving shoppers the full supermarket experience without having to wait in line.
As always, data protection played a central role in developing and implementing the frictionless checkout system in the REWE Berlin store. For the Cologne store, REWE worked closely with Trigo’s development team to maintain the highest standards of privacy and security, and the same applies to the Berlin location. Trigo’s system captures data related to products that are taken or put back, there is no facial recognition, and all the data is completely anonymized, so shopper identities and information are unknown to the system, nor are they stored.
In addition to privacy, customer service and personal connection are paramount to REWE, so this Berlin location will maintain the number of employees that is customary for REWE stores. When you choose the Pick&Go experience, you get to skip the lines and cashier, but don’t lose the personal touch – employees are available for questions about products or offers and advice throughout your shopping trip.
Besides being twice the size of the Cologne store at around 400 square meters, the Berlin location will feature weighted items for the first time – customers will no longer have to buy per unit, and they will enjoy purchasing their fruits and vegetables by weight. Buying produce by weight is an exciting addition to REWE’s offerings for their Pick&Go customers, as this is the preferred method of purchase for the standard German shopper.
The Berlin store’s size and extensive offerings provide a true supermarket experience. To provide Pick&Go customers with the full REWE experience, Trigo and REWE worked closely together to support, for the first time, promotional baskets, bulk items, such as beer crates, and non-food products, such as pans, kitchen utensils, and toothbrushes. While the Cologne store had the on-the-go, convenience shopper in mind, the Berlin store has the weekly shopper in mind, with a larger basket size, more time to choose deals of the week, and the need to buy in bulk.
Germany is known for its eco-conscious policies and citizens, championing renewable energy and a strong recycling program. “It is particularly exciting that this REWE store will support a bottle recycling machine because recycling culture and sustainability are so engrained in German society,” says Heli Netanel, product team lead at Trigo. “Through the close collaboration between Trigo and REWE, we developed a solution tailored to the hybrid model so that the system would be able to differentiate between traditional and Pick&Go shoppers. For Pick&Go customers, the process is as seamless as the rest of the shopping experience, with the credit going directly into the virtual shopping basket. By eliminating paper receipts for Pick&Go shoppers, the REWE Berlin store provides a fully sustainable experience for customers on top of a fully frictionless one.”