SSP adopt AI for seamless food to go at Oslo and Dublin Airports

SSP Group has introduced two frictionless, checkout-free stores at Oslo Airport and Dublin Airport, offering customers a seamless and convenient experience with the ability to choose and pay for items without the need for traditional checkouts. This initiative aims to provide speed and efficiency in the fast-paced travel environment, where time is often a crucial factor.

In the frictionless, checkout-free stores at Oslo Airport and Dublin Airport, customers can enter, tap their payment card, select items, and leave the store without the need for traditional checkout processes. The system automatically charges customers for their purchases. For those who wish to have proof of purchase, a mobile phone scan of a code at the exit allows them to receive a receipt via email. This streamlined approach eliminates the need for barcode scanning, interaction with staff, or app downloads.

The technology behind the new store concept comes from two leading players in the field. Zippin’s AI platform provides a combination of camera technology and weight-sensor-enabled shelving to detect the items customers have picked up, while payment processing technology experts, Planet, created the payment integration to bring the frictionless walk-out process to life.

The frictionless store at Dublin Airport operates under the brand 'Dublin Town To Go' and focuses on food and beverage convenience.The concept at Oslo Airport is a Point convenience unit.

The recent openings at Oslo Airport and Dublin Airport mark the expansion of SSP Group's checkout-free stores after a successful trial at New York’s JFK International Airport. Should these new locations prove successful, SSP plans to implement the technology in other parts of its business, further embracing the seamless and checkout-free shopping experience.

In the long term, the technology is expected to provide a wealth of benefits beyond offering customers convenience and a speedier retail journey. For example, the space used for check-out areas can be repurposed to provide a wider range of products, which will again be welcomed at rail stations and airports where there can be considerable limitations on footprint.

Mark Smith, SSP’s chief digital and technology officer, said of the AI application: “At SSP, we pride ourselves on our ability to use the most sophisticated technology to bring customers the best possible experience. We’re certain customers will find that this new way of shopping makes a real difference to their journey.”

Krishna Motukuri, CEO and co-founder of Zippin, commented; “When it comes to airport shopping, long checkout lines can be the difference between catching a flight or missing it. Countless travellers skip shopping altogether to avoid the risk.

“We’re excited to bring checkout-free to Oslo and Dublin airports to eliminate the friction of traditional checkouts and make it easier for travellers to shop. With checkout-free, travellers can put purchases directly into their luggage as they shop because the technology doesn’t care how items are carried out of the store. This makes the overall shopping experience better and encourages larger baskets, which helps increase revenues and profits.”

Tim Goodwin, chief product and technology officer at Planet, said; “We’re delighted to be partnering with Zippin to integrate our payments technology to help SSP power a better in-store shopping experience at busy airport locations.

“It’s a great example of how we’re working with our partners to offer customers innovative new ways of shopping, and which make payments easy, frictionless and almost invisible, helping travellers to get their shopping done quickly and at their own convenience when they are pushed for time.”

Glenn Marius Sørgård, commercial manager at OSL, said; “Our passengers here at Oslo Airport are discerning and they are looking for a quick and convenient experience when shopping. At the new outlet, passengers can shop in a way that is highly efficient but is also something a little bit different. We’re certain this will set our airport apart and add a new dimension to travelling from Oslo Airport.”

Vincent Harrison, chief commercial and development officer at Dublin Airport, was similarly enthusiastic: “The opening of a checkout-free store in the airport is something completely new and different for passengers. Dublin Airport is excited to be the home of the first concept store of this kind to be opened in Ireland. Whether passengers want to pick up a pre-flight sandwich and coffee, or essentials such as milk and cereal after arriving back into Dublin Airport, the technology deployed in ‘Dublin Town To Go’ means they can do it quickly and in a hassle-free manner.”