Dynamic rural areas with unstaffed stores
Unstaffed stores may be the solution to even more dynamic rural areas. For three years, Lifvs has operated a chain of small grocery stores in places where the need is most acute. The stores are open 24 hours a day and prices can be kept reasonable as the stores are unstaffed. Digitisation makes it possible and customers identify themselves and unlock the store using BankID.
Lifvs operations started just outside Bålsta in March 2019 and soon the BankID app became the partner for the entire customer journey – from identification to payment verification. Today, Lifvs has 27 stores in Sweden, which makes them the largest operator of unstaffed stores in Europe. Daniel Lundh, the founder of Lifvs, reveals how important it is that the service is both simple and secure:
– BankID was a win-win solution for the customer and for us. BankID means great security and is the digital ID card that has become an essential part of our everyday lives.
The idea of unstaffed stores was actually born in the 1990s when the grocery industry changed. More and more small convenience stores in small towns were closing down because more and more people wanted to shop in supermarkets. Since then, more than 4000 convenience stores have disappeared in Sweden.
– It is difficult for a small grocery store to be profitable. And when the local customer base diminishes, it becomes even more difficult. Our vision was to reintroduce a service where no convenience store existed, with stores that are also profitable. We ended up developing our technology platform Storekey to facilitate the running of unstaffed stores from a distance, continues Daniel Lundh.
When customers arrive at the store, they register with BankID in a Storekey app, and are then able to enter the premises. There are no scales or scanners, everything is done in the app, such as the registration of goods and offers and final payment.
– In the Storekey app, we can do everything a conventional e-merchant can do. We can see everything the customer does, but we let them physically squeeze the cucumber in the store before they decide to buy. An environment you are familiar with and, with the help of BankID, a system that is safe," says Daniel Lundh.
Because customers identify themselves using BankID in the Storekey app, we can customise offers and personalise transactions.
A survey conducted by HUI and BankID in 2021 shows that the majority of customers appreciate the increased availability of unstaffed stores and that 7 out of 10 would consider shopping in an unstaffed store. According to consumers, the benefits are that it is open, quick and convenient in situations where previously there was no service.
Client case: Cervera
When Cervera connected to BankID to their e-services, they increased both customer satisfaction and sales, whilst lowering pressure on customer service.