Co-op to trial new high-tech trolleys. Not as exciting as it sounds.
The poor old Co-operative Group has been beleaguered of late, with tales of drug-taking bosses, funds mismanagement and shock exits just some of the recent events that may have tarnished the Co-op’s wholesome reputation. Now, however, the trusty old supermarket arm has come to the group’s rescue, with innovative new hi-tech shopping trolleys to help improve customer service.
So how exactly will these new computer trolleys help improve the customer experience? If you scan your shopping list will it whizz you round the store in the most time efficient manner? Will you be able to use it like a mobile self-checkout system? Can you at least keep a running total of what’s in your trolley? Er, no. The ‘high-tech’ trolleys have a tablet bolted on to the handlebar which can ask you searching customer survey questions as you are grappling with your spuds.
That’s right, selected Co-op stores are trialling the new scheme, which prompts shoppers at various points in-store to answer questions about the layout, the ranges and products on offer. And it doesn’t stop there, as if letting Co-op know what you think about their store, and their whizzy new trolleys wasn’t enough, you can now answer wider social impact questions on issues such as sustainable food, youth unemployment and localism as well. Bet you can’t wait.
The Co-operative group will “use the data accrued to inform its customer offering, both in terms of the store experience and the impact of its business beyond its shops and into the broader community,” and has also set up an online version of the questionnaire for those customers sadly unable to get their hands on one of the tablet-enabled trolleys. You can also tweet the Co-op with your views on @CooperativeFood. #lame.
Andrew Mann, The Co-operative Food’s customer director, said: "If we are to fulfil our ambition to be the UK’s best local food retailer, it is really important that we know what our members think about our stores and act upon their feedback.
"The hi-tech trolleys not only make it easy for customers to tell us about their shopping experience, but because the information is collated digitally, we can access what they say almost instantly.
"Our new stated purpose emphasises the importance we place on communities and so this feedback will also enable us to find out what our members and customers think about our community engagement."
Co-op customers, when asked what they thought about the new trolleys were too busy trying to drive a trolley, do their shopping and answer inane questions about whether the carrots should be on a higher shelf or not, or whether faggots would solve the social housing crisis to answer.
Let’s hope those tablets are securely bolted on.