Grocery retailer Schnuck Markets and grocery technology company Instacart have expanded their omnichannel partnership with the introduction of smart carts in select stores in the US.

The move sees Instacart deploying its Caper Carts at select Schnucks St. Louis stores this fall (1–30 November), with plans to expedite the roll-out later this year.

Equipped with computer vision and artificial intelligence, Caper Carts automatically identify items, thereby enabling customers to seamlessly checkout on the Cart from anywhere in the store.

In addition, Schnucks will be testing a Lite version, which enables customers to manually scan items before placing them inside the cart.

A bottom rack in the smart carts helps to place bulky and heavy items.

Caper Carts are said to be the only smart cart on the market offering stacked charging feature.

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By GlobalData

Schnucks digital experience senior director Chace MacMullan said: “We believe the future of grocery will lean heavily into personalisation – whether it is achieved through in-store smart carts or by providing the best possible e-commerce experience for our customers.

“We aim to make customers feel like each shopping experience was custom-made for them, and we are excited to take another big step forward with the roll-out of this pilot of Instacart’s Caper Carts.”

Schnucks and Instacart initially started their partnership in 2017 when they introduced a same-day delivery service.

Over the year, Schnucks deployed a number of Instacart Platform technologies to digitise its stores.

The introduction of Caper Carts is part of efforts to integrate the online and in-store shopping experience.

Instacart vice-president and Connected Stores general manager David McIntosh said: “With this launch, Schnucks is building on their existing Instacart-powered offerings across e-commerce, ads, electronic shelf labels, and more – redefining in-store shopping and checkout for customers.”