Australian supermarket giant, Woolworths, is reportedly preparing for an overhaul of its in-store operations, with checkout-free buying and digital assistants set to form part of its future buying experience after COVID19 restrictions lift.

20180820001357987112 original 400x300 Woolies Eyes Check Out Free, Contactless BuyingMarket commentators predict other retailers may soon follow suit in coming periods.

According to an AFR exclusive, the supermarket giant is eyeing ‘Amazon-style checkout-free self-service’ in stores, and is further accelerating its online shopping capabilities.

The news comes after consumers significantly lift their comfort levels with digital shopping, prompt by lockdown restrictions amid the COVID19 pandemic.

The supermarket has reportedly already conducted several customer trials for its contactless, check-out free experience, dubbed ‘Scan&Go.’

In this – popularised by the likes of Amazon’s Go stores in America – customer goods are scanned with a mobile app, with payment occurring without a checkout.

Reported earlier this year by the Sydney Morning Herald, Coles Chief of Commercial and Express Greg Davis expects local supermarkets to have no checkouts within ten years.

The development comes after Woolworths and its digital arm WooliesX rapidly amped up infrastructure investment over the last three years. The retailer has increased the strength of its relationships with tech vendors, and remains committed to strengthening its e-commerce functionalities over time.

Many market commentators claim the coronavirus pandemic has prompt a radical overhaul of many retailers in-store operations, as companies prepare to commence full trading in coming periods amidst robust health and safety guidelines.

For example, some claim the likes of Myer’s in-store fragrance testing aisle will no longer be sustainable given its ‘high-touch’ nature and potential health risk.

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