Mastercard has launched new frictionless ways to restructure the physical shopping environment for retailers. Applicable and adaptable to any retail environment, from restaurants to pharmacies, Mastercard ‘s Shop Anywhere and AI Powered Drive Through solutions allow low contact, high engagement experiences for retailers and the end consumer.
With leading retailers and leisure, entertainment and hospitality partners like Circle K, Delaware North, Dunkin’ and White Castle, Mastercard is introducing these innovative technologies at a moment when customers are constantly searching for authentic ways to shop and engage in the physical environment. According to Mastercard’s Recovery Insights: Shift to Digital report, in-person shopping remains a draw, though consumers are seeking offerings that bridge the physical and digital to streamline the overall experience.
“As retailers and consumers navigate through one of the most disruptive periods in modern history, it’s clear that traditional business operations will need to evolve quickly,” said Stephane Wyper, senior vice president, Retail Innovation, Mastercard. “We’re committed to supporting our retail partners as they look to meet the unforeseen challenges posed by this new normal and provide their customers with a more digitally enabled, touchless, and secure retail experience.”
The Shop Anywhere project, powered by AI and Accel Robotics, collaborator for computer vision technology, helps retailers to develop easy, customised shopping experiences in stores focused on customer preferences and without violating privacy.
“We are thrilled to partner with Mastercard to help retailers deliver a new world of convenience,” said Brandon Maseda, chief executive officer, Accel Robotics. “Through the Shop Anywhere platform, we are helping shorten the distance between shoppers and satisfaction.”
The Shop Anywhere platform increases efficiency of shopping by removing current pain points by comprehensive inventory and active shopper insights – presenting shoppers with no queues, no checkout lines, and safe payments. Shop Anywhere will also provide shoppers with access to shops beyond normal business hours if allowed by the owner, in addition to the unique and exclusive merchandise.
Shop Anywhere can be spread through a multitude of physical environments, from shopping centres, hotels, convenience stores and retail outlets. Mastercard is rolling out Shop Anywhere platform live pilots with many store partners.
Starting in October 2020, Circle K will deliver friction-free at-the-pump and in-store services for its customers, allowing them to grab and go snacks and beverages conveniently at select locations in the US and Canada; Delaware North, a multinational hospitality organisation based in sports and entertainment centers, national parks, restaurants and resorts locations, airports and regional casinos, will be introducing stand-alone, frictionless food and drink stores operated by the Mastercard solution; and at a Dunkin’ restaurant testing the technology, customers can walk in into the store and pick up their coffee and donuts without any face to face interaction.
The AI Powered Drive Through platform, provided in partnership with SoundHound and Rekor Systems, can help quick service restaurant brands transform their drive through or drive in interactions through vehicle recognition, voice ordering, and artificial intelligence.
Consumers will enjoy customised and interactive menu offerings based on past shopping habits depending on either the store or the particular customer who is interested. The approach also eliminates uncertainty in the buying process by eliminating the need to wait for an employee to take an order, allowing employees to concentrate on order throughput.
The AI Powered Drive Through technology will begin on-location pilots at White Castle locations in October 2020 and will also be rolling out with other quick service restaurants later in the year.
“With the health and safety of our guests and employees being our top priority in the pandemic and as part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, Delaware North has turned to a well-recognised industry leader in Mastercard to help us deliver a frictionless, safe and secure experience for our guests,” said Jeff Wilkinson, chief information officer, Delaware North. “With a great partner like Mastercard, we’re excited to activate this new contactless capability this fall at select Delaware North Sportservice locations.”