Quick It is an Argentine version of the supermarket model where the consumer can carry out the entire shopping experience 100% autonomously.
The greatest global exponent of this model is the chain Amazon Goof the American technology giant Amazon.
iProfesional visited and carried out the shopping experience in one of the premises of this Argentine company in Buenos Aireswhere it already has two branches open to the public, in addition to its own mini-market in a residential building.
Quick’s store is in Puerto Madero.
An idea born in the pandemic
Quick’s founder and CEO, Marcos Acunawho had previous experience in gastronomy, construction and advertising, explained to iProfesional the origins of this company:
“During the pandemic, I found myself locked up with my family in a gated community in Brandsen (a Buenos Aires city 83 kilometers south of Buenos Aires) and I had to take care of the purchases. Since we couldn’t enter any town, every other day I went 60 km to go to a supermarket on Route 2. I had to wait an hour to get in through the queues to pay.In those waits, I thought all the time about how it could be that there was hardly any progress regarding the processes of I’ve been shopping for as long as I can remember. That’s how I started thinking about how to solve this problem.”
With an initial investment of $700,000the entrepreneur today began to assemble a team of 33 people, mostly engineers and programmers, to develop the technology he would need to make his idea a reality:
“Minimarkets nearby; in your neighborhood, in your building, in your office, places where you can enter 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, find what you need and leave without queuing at the checkout counters to pay.”
The entry and exit of the premises is exclusively with the Quick application.
Autonomous supermarkets in Buenos Aires
Today Quick has two stores open to the public in Buenos Aires: one in Madero Port (Aimé Painé and Martha Salotti, in front of the Faena hotel) and another in downtown (Maipú 759). It also plans to open one in Palermo (Humboldt and Costa Rica). They are open every day, including holidays, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
In addition, from its own place of 1,000 m2, it supplies the orders placed through the platforms rappi and orders now in the Microcentro, Recoleta and Puerto Madero.
It also has a 100% autonomous mini-market inside a building: the Link Towers Puerto Madero, two 40-story towers, where Quick has a 50m2 space and a wide range of products. It is the first exponent of Quick’s main bet.
Is about unstaffed convenience stores that are close to where consumers live, work, study or play. For example, gated communities, residential buildings, offices, companies, gyms, co-working offices, universities, clinics, etc.
Quick’s business model requires that there be a minimum of 50 people in this places. Acuña exemplified with the following case: “Imagine it’s nine o’clock at night, you’re doing a barbecue, you ran out of coal and you realize you don’t have oil for the salad.”
“Without moving from your closed neighborhood or building, you can go to Quick and make the purchase in seconds through the application that allows you to scan the bar codes of the products, pay and leave,” explained Acuña.
The supermarket has a wide range of products, several of them imported.
How does Quick’s technology work?
One of the keys to Quick is an application that allows consumers to enter the store, scan the bar codes of the products, and pay from the same application with debit or credit cards or Payment Marketand leave the branch or the private mini-market without having wasted time in queues.
For this, systems of artificial intelligence combined with computerized vision technology that help optimize and automate the control of sales, stock and replacements.
For example, in the Puerto Madero store, which iProfesional visited and carried out the shopping experience, there are cameras that analyze the buying behavior of customers and inform the programmers, who can improve the system with that data.
In the gondolas and the rest of the premises there are cameras that monitor the stock and the consumer.
Behind the scenes of Quick
More than 150 cameras, artificial intelligence, anti-vandalism solutionsfacial recognition and an analytics system are part of the technological infrastructure designed to provide this experience for Quick customers, as well as a secure one for the establishment itself.
Technological developments allow from the registration of the customer journey, the detection of heat maps to establish patterns of behavior at the time of purchase, the optimization of waiting timesand promote the products that most need to be marketed, as well as provide security to prevent theft.
To enter the premises you have to scan a QR with the Quick application.
Since Dahua Technology Argentinathe company in charge of developing the technological part of the Quick branches, explained to iProfesional that there are vandal-resistant mini-dome cameras installed with artificial intelligence algorithms, on average one per square meter.
The cameras are installed in each gondola, aisles, refrigerators, corners, and in the entrance and exit of the premises. Each of them is connected to an analytics server, which powers facial recognition, video data, backup of recorded data and automatic tracking of a moving object.
The application Quick Scan&Go It has an analytics server and barriers that facilitate access control that allows obtaining facial recognition linked to the registration of application data.
The application allows scanning and payment of purchased products.
What should you do to buy 100% autonomously?
- Download the app from Google Play or App Store on your cell phone and install it.
- Scan with the app QR code of the access to enter the premises of Quick.
- I chose your products and scan their barcodes until you complete your shopping cart.
- Pay from the application with any debit or credit card. You can also use your Mercado Pago account.
- You can withdraw from the premises without queuing. To leave, you just have to scan the egress door QR again with the application.
Acuña clarified that in places open to the public you can also pay in the traditional way, although to enter and leave the premises you must use the application.
Marcos Acuña with the Quick application.
In Jumbo and other supermarket chains have had self-service and self-checkout terminals for years. What are the differences with Quick?
In these supermarkets, the consumer must stand in line at the checkout where they scan the products. Then, he must show his payment card to pay and at the end he must show the purchased items to a store employee who controls the purchase.
On the other hand, in Quick, thanks to the scanning of products and the payment with the application, each consumer is a box of their own. The only line that would form is to leave the premises.
Focus on building and companies
Acuña explained that Quick does not pay a rent for the space of his mini-market to the consortium of a building or from a closed neighborhood, because it gives them the service of a fully stocked store, with lower prices than a supermarket.
The businessman estimated that by 2023 he will have recovered the initial investment. However, it will make an investment round to consolidate its expansion plan.
Marcos Acuña in front of the Quick store in Puerto Madero.
“We want to change the way of buying and create an ecosystem, we can’t do it alone. We want any kiosk, track store, service station, convenience store and warehouse that wants to transform into Quick to be able to do so,” he said.
Acuna clarified that does not compete with traditional supermarketsbut to open a business segment in places where there are machines that only sell soft drinks, sweets and sandwiches, among other foods.