By Jessie Dowd


The AI-powered autonomous shopping experience just got bigger, in the form of a 4,000-square-foot hybrid convenience market called AI Go in Shanghai. The store combines a manned checkout with the use of computer vision as part of checkout-free shopping powered by AiFiSolutions.

Stocking 2,000 SKUs ranging from fresh meats to snacks, this store represents the largest deployment to date of the AiFiAutonomous Store Platform OASIS. Consumers shopping autonomously check in using an AiFi app, or they can continue to shop as usual with a cashier at checkout.

This new store is the largest of four stores in the city now powered by the AiFi computer vision technology, which tracks shoppers’ gestures and the items they select or put back as they travel through the store. The solution protects identities with no facial recognition or biometric data. The checkout-free option is available 24/7, while the traditional checkout stand and cashier can assist from 8 am to 11 pm. Autonomous shoppers receive receipts on their phones within seconds of leaving the store.

“The hybrid approach offers retailers a way to introduce the autonomous experience to customers and get everyone accustomed to the pleasures of no more frustrating waiting in line while simultaneously avoiding crowds, which is especially important during the pandemic,” said Steve Gu, CEO and Co-Founder of AiFi in a statement. “We are delivering a contactless, fast and enjoyable shopping experience to customers while providing detailed inventory and analytics that make for a very efficient operation for retailers. We are also completely GDPR and CCPA compliant, so no customer personal information is disclosed.”

In October 2020, the company raised a total of $30 million in its latest funding round to speed up deployment of its autonomous shopping offering, which can be deployed in as few as five days for a retrofitted store. To date, AiFi has partnerships with five of the top 10 U.S. grocery chains, three of the top sixEuropean chains and with a top store chain in Australia. The company is on track to open more than 330 stores in 2021, kicking off with more than a dozen openings at the beginning of the year.