Caper launches autonomous checkout counter for mini market and small retail stores

Caper, which launched the first AI-powered grocery shopping cart, has expanded into autonomous checkout with the launch of the Caper Counter.

The plug-and-play, AI-powered countertop checkout was designed for retail stores and markets under 10,000 feet. Caper, creators of the Caper Cart, the first AI-powered shopping cart for grocery stores, expanded its product line of autonomous checkout technology with the rollout of the Caper Counter, a plug-and-play AI-powered countertop purpose-built for mini markets and retail stores with under ten thousand feet.

The Caper Counter can be quickly installed without a store retrofit or downtime to operations, making it the most cost-efficient autonomous checkout technology for stores. The Caper Counter provides a faster checkout shopping experience to minimize human interactions in the store to keep employees and shoppers safer during the pandemic.

The new Caper Counter is deployed today in several stores with a national convenience store chain, with additional stores coming soon.

"When we heard from retailers they wanted a cashier-less checkout solution to fit their smaller-footprint stores, we developed the Caper Counter with powerful computer vision technology in a plug-and-play format that is quick to deploy without having to retrofit a store," said Lindon Gao, CEO and co-founder of Caper.

"Our first product -- Caper Cart -- was the first to define how technology can achieve a scalable cashierless solution for large-format stores. With the new Caper Counter, we have again transformed the mundane -- a countertop -- into something seamless and magical for smaller footprint retailers."

The Caper Counter uses computer vision and Sensor Fusion technology to visually detect and instantly identify items placed on the Counter and automatically adds the items to the total amount. Shoppers swipe their cards directly on the device or use Apple Pay or other Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to checkout.

The Caper Counter requires only a power cord and WiFi password to get the device up and running in a store. The AI-powered device is ideal for stores smaller than 10K square feet and fewer than 10K SKUs.

Before COVID-19, consumers made it clear that convenience matters and, the pandemic has further accelerated this trend. According to Deloitte's InSightsIQ June report, more than 50% of consumers report spending more on convenience to get what they need, with "convenience" increasingly being defined by contactless shopping, on-demand fulfillment, and inventory availability.

"Customers want retailers to make things easy for them with a faster and enhanced shopping experience and autonomous checkout is a priority," said Kathleen Polsinello, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group, Toronto.

"In light of COVID and the impact on retailers, cashier-less and contactless solutions that can be quickly deployed without significant costs or store renovations are likely to become the winners in the future of autonomous retail."

The Caper Counter and the Caper Cart offer effective plug-and-play autonomous checkout technology that spans the full retail ecosystem of both large and small retailers.

With both products, Caper is developing a software platform that brings the online shopping experience provided by eCommerce retailers to the physical store, bringing features that guide shoppers such as personalized recommendations, in-store navigation, coupons, digital dietary information, recipes and more.

As the next steps, Caper plans to roll out both products and its platform with more retail stores across North America and Europe.