Technology is relentlessly transforming every aspect of our day-to-day lives. From education and communication to healthcare and retail, we are always seeking better, more efficient ways to do things. However, even amidst this flux of changes around us, the humble shopping cart had witnessed little change since its invention in 1937 – until now.
Today, the shopping cart is undergoing a revolutionary transformation in the capable hands of Smartcart - a Finnish technology company that has made it its mission to improve everyday life. Working closely with Lenovo, Smartcart has developed a digitized shopping cart solution that offers a robust, seamless and personalized everyday shopping experience.
A three-way winning proposition
“Smartcart was established with a simple objective,’ says Mia Lönn, Marketing Communications Manager at Smartcart. “We wanted to make everyday shopping smoother and faster by bringing the benefits of online shopping to brick and mortar stores.”
“We wanted to make everyday shopping smoother and faster by bringing the benefits of online shopping to brick and mortar stores.”
Marketing Communications Manager, Smartcart
Mia believes that the beauty of the Smartcart shopping solution lies in the way it simultaneously benefits all the stakeholders in the equation – the consumers, the retailers, and the advertisers.
Shoppers can enjoy an enhanced shopping experience. Using the Smartcart interface, they can manage shopping lists, scan items for product and price information, search for new recipes, and keep track of special offers and promotions in the store.
For retailers, introducing the Smartcart solution at stores not only meant more footfalls and increased sales through targeted product discounts but additional revenue from media sales.
The Smartcart solution offered advertisers and marketers a new and unique platform to reach out to consumers with targeted ads right at the point of purchase when they are making their buying decision.
Partnering with Lenovo
Smartcart was ready with the proof-of-concept design within months of its inception but the key challenge for the company was to make the experience as smooth and frictionless as possible. In fact, the ease of use and the absence of errors and disruptions would determine the success of this innovation. This is where Smartcart decided to partner with Lenovo.
In the beginning years, the company did experiment with a few different devices from other manufacturers before it switched to Lenovo tablets in 2017. “We chose to go with Lenovo because it is a trusted name in the industry and the Tab 4 was a good match for us,” says Tobias Hannus, the Chief Technology Officer at Smartcart. “From the performance of the device and the optimal battery life to a detail as small as the position of the volume rockers, the Lenovo Tab 4 fit our specific requirements perfectly.”
“From the performance of the device and the optimal battery life to a detail as small as the position of the volume rockers, the Lenovo Tab 4 fit our specific requirements perfectly.”
Chief Technology Officer, Smartcart
The Lenovo Tab 4 comes with a vibrant 10.1” HD display offering 1280x800 resolution and wide-angle views. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 64-bit quad-core processor equips the tablet to handle anything you throw at it with ease. Both the cameras perform excellently when used to scan product barcodes. Also, the rapid charging helps get the devices up and running in very little time.
“More importantly, Lenovo also gave us the freedom to make necessary modifications and tweaks to the device software – something that is often restricted by other manufacturers,” adds Tobias.
Pioneers of the smart shopping culture
The road to market for Smartcart had its fair share of hurdles. Getting retailers to adopt and implement this novel concept in their stores was no easy task. “We were front-runners with a new and unknown product in our hands – we knew the initial stages will be challenging. However, using the right mix of promotion and education, we were able to win over many retailers,” says Marko Tikkanen, the Chief Operating Officer at Smartcart.
The Smartcart shopping solution is getting more and more popular every day. Today, over 100 retail shops in Finland are Smartcart Shops. More than 27000 consumers have shared their feedback with the Smartcart team. “More than 60% of the respondents are ‘Very Happy’ with their shopping experience on Smartcart while close to 90% of shoppers were ‘Happy’ with their Smartcart experience,” exclaims Marko.
What’s more, the company has also taken its first step towards a global presence with the launch of the first Smartcart-enabled store in Paraguay.
The way forward
The journey of innovation is far from over for Smartcart. The company is now working on the Smartcart scanner on their Lenovo tablets that will allow shoppers to scan products as they are picked and pay at the end through the same tablet. And Lenovo would like to be a part of this journey.
The partnership with Lenovo is built on the foundation of this spirit of innovation. “Working with Lenovo, we can rest easy in the knowledge that we’ll always get quality devices when and where we need them. Lenovo is a partner we can rely on,” says Tobias.