At REWE the customer now scans himself!

Individual shopping – a trend that is increasingly taking over the retail trade. Be it with the Self-checkout, the smart shopping trolleys or concepts such as we know from Amazon Go, the customer wants to move through the market faster, more efficiently and more easily.

The supermarket chain REWE is also following this trend, and in more and more stores, such as in Munich, Cologne and other test locations, consumers can now test mobile self-scanners.

With the new technology, the supermarket wants to support customers as they walk through the store. They can scan the products they want to buy either with their hand scanner or their own smartphone and pay only for the one at the checkout.

The hand scanners in the supermarkets (Source: REWE)


Perhaps your market is already among the test markets. Here in the Munich area I discovered the illuminated hand scanners mounted on a wall directly at the entrance. With a Payback card, customers can log in and activate their device. Now all they have to do is scan the barcodes of the items they put in their shopping cart and wait until the audio signal sounds. This means it is not only stored in the analog shopping cart, but also in the digital one. The display of the handheld scanner provides information about the deposited articles, the individual and the total amount and can be adjusted at any time.

The check-out is done directly at the express checkout of the REWE store and afterwards you can go home with your shopping.


Innovation Profile: REWE Hand Scanner

REWE’s handheld scanners are designed to enhance the customer’s shopping experience more and more. “Our customers can test the mobile self-scanning – either with their own smartphone or with a hand scanner from the store. Payment can then be made at an express checkout. On the one hand, this can save our customers time. On the other hand, our employees have more time for service tasks, advice and product range maintenance. – said Lionel Souque, CEO of REWE Group. But how do they perform in the innovation profile?



Hand scanners are nothing new for the retail industry – automatic checkouts and the customer’s own scanning are nothing new, but the interpretation with hand scanners is a new way to give consumers more individuality.

While the complexity can be set very low, there is a high conflict potencial. The uncertainty is very high for a digital shopping cart, which REWE can support with further explanations.

Conclusion: REWE’s hand scanners are a good way in the right direction to make retail more digital. Consumers still have to get used to them, but then it will be the future of shopping at the POS.


Post Picture: REWE

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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