Waitrose has teamed up with US start up business Hiku as it plans to become the first retailer to trial home scanning in the UK.
The home scanning system will enable customers to scan barcodes at home of products they currently have which will then be added automatically to their online shopping basket. Further to that the home scanning kit, Hiku will even allow customers to speak into the device, rather than scanning every item, with its voice to text recognition capability.
The device will be a small gadget that is essential compact and can be attached to the fridge or kept somewhere convenient around the home. Hiku is also creating a smartphone app alongside the home device which will allow customers to update their shopping bag when they are on the go.
The Hiku trial comes at a perfect time, as figures show roughly 30% of sales are now completed online. The home scanning device is the first example of a new Waitrose programme which is prioritising innovation and technological solutions for their customers. The programme is ensuring that developments made within the company are constantly involving the customer from the trialing stage to the feedback stage, ensuring customers are kept at the heart of the company.
This is strategically a great move for Waitrose as other grocers are currently being criticised for losing touch with customer wants and essentially not understanding a consumer’s lifestyle and shopping habits.
The device is currently being trailed this month by employees and customer focus groups. However early 2015 will see an extensive in-home trail of the product.
This news comes after Waitrose appoints a new director of eCommerce; Ross Avery who was previously Head of Strategy at the company.
Avery has worked at Waitrose since 2001; he has held numerous titles within his time there, from Branch Manager to Head of retail co-ordination.
Rob Collins, Retail Director, said: “I am delighted that Ross Avery will become Director, e-Commerce. Ross is taking up the e-Commerce reins at a very important but exciting time for our online business, and it is great that we have been able to draw on our own talent for this important appointment.”