HybridLoc concept wins reta award 2024

Wanzl receives award as technology partner

Cashless payments are becoming increasingly popular in the retail trade. Until recently, however, cashless unlocking for shopping trolleys was impossible. In order to optimise the customer journey at this point as well, retail specialist Wanzl developed the HybridLoc, a deposit lock that can be opened using a coin or an app. It has been piloted and launched in practice for the first time with the German supermarket brand Netto Marken-Discount. For this, the retail chain received the 2024 retail technology award europe for the Best Customer Experience category. Wanzl was also honoured as a key technology partner.

Awards ceremony

The venue for the awards ceremony, which took place on 27 February 2024, was the Seifenfabrik Dr. Thompsons events venue in Düsseldorf. During the EuroCis trade fair, the initiators, the EHI Retail Institute and the trade magazine 'Lebensmittel Zeitung', honoured companies that implement outstanding and innovative technology solutions in the retail sector. Wanzl was among the group of delighted winners. Bernd Renzhofer, Sales Director at Wanzl, says: “We’re very proud of this award. It once again confirms that we are an innovative solution provider and partner for retailers. The shopping trolley, and more specifically the coin deposit lock, is the first point of direct contact with the vast majority of buyers in a store. It therefore stands to reason that retailers should integrate this process functionally into the customer journey and make the most of the shopping trolley as the customer’s most important companion through the store.” In its official verdict, the jury – made up of representatives from industry, universities and research institutions – recognised the concept as a pioneering piece of technology for improving customer retention and customer satisfaction. Wanzl always strives to offer a unique shopping experience and enhance this on a continuous basis. For many customers, carrying cash or even coins is no longer a matter of course. For this reason, it simply made sense for Wanzl to take this fact into account along the customer journey with the HybridLoc.

The HybridLoc concept

The HybridLoc works as both a classic coin lock and a digital deposit lock. The trolley is unlocked with either a coin or chip or via an app using NFC (Near Field Communication). The system is designed as an open module so that it can be integrated into third-party apps from retailers such as Netto Marken-Discount. As a result, retailers can offer their customers an additional, important service digitally and reach app users even before they enter the store with tailored offers and bonus campaigns. In addition, tracking of the individual shopping trolleys provides them with important data for shopping trolley management and consumer behaviour. Recommendations for maintenance and the number of shopping trolleys actually required can be derived from the data collected. In addition, walking distances and the amount of time customers spend in the respective sections in the entire store can be tracked anonymously. It is also possible to react to increased customer traffic at normal peak times as well as on an ad-hoc basis. "Digitalization in the retail trade is progressing at great pace. With our cloud-based software platform wanzl connect® and our 24/7 technology, we are digitalising brick-and-mortar shopping. The HybridLoc was the first step towards making our core product, the shopping trolley, smart. The second step will follow in autumn of this year with the launch of our Smart Trolley. Then our partners will also be able to rely on proven Wanzl quality when it comes to smart shopping trolleys," says Bernd Renzhofer.