As Amazon plans to expand the number of Amazon Go supermarkets by an additional six locations, European retailers are racing to test their own checkout-free stores.

Retailer iOS apps with in-store functionalities doubled over the past year, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Retail EuropeMediaMarkt is the latest to join the race. 

At the end of January, MediaMarkt Austria announced a pilot to open its first checkout-free consumer electronics store. The concept will leverage the brand’s Saturn Express mobile app to eliminate checkout queues. The mobile app allows customers to add products to their basket by using the barcode scanner, then pay for them directly from their phone before leaving the store.

Saturn Express

Saturn Express joins Monoprix’s app, Monop’easy, and a handful of others that feature an integrated checkout experience, making clear that more retailers are starting to see the benefit of leveraging phones for in-app checkout. Yet the question that remains unanswered is whether this will be sufficient to counter Amazon’s AI investments.

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