Shelf-checkout, enhancing the retail shopping experience
In the digital era, the retail industry is experiencing a huge transformation in the way that consumers do their shopping. One of the most significant developments in this are is the introduction of self-checkouts at the points of sale. This innovative solution has not only improve the operational efficiency of stores, it has also provide a faster and more convenient shopping experiences to customers. In 2020, there was a 25% increase in the installation of these devices, so it is undoubtedly an option that retailers are increasingy considering in their sales strategies.
What are self-checkout kiosks?
Also known as autopay kiosks, these are automated system that allow customer to scan, bag and pay for their products without the intervention of a human customer.
These types of kiosks, or self-checkout machines, are typically equipped with barcode scanners, touch screens, scales and integrated electronic payment options. The popularity of these types of checkouts is due to their ability to streamline the payment process and reduce wait times in checkout lines.
Advantages of having a self-checkout at your point of sale
One of the most obvious benefits is the ability to speed up the in-store checkout process. Customers can scan their products quickly and easily, reducing the need to wait in long lines. This not only improves the customer experience, but also enables stores to handle a higher volume of customers in a shorter period of time.
Lower labor costs
By eliminating the need for a person at each payment terminal, it is possible to remain competitive in the marketplace. Automation reduces point-of-sale costs.
Increase accuracy and reduce errors
Self-pay checkouts are designed to minimize calculation errors and related problems. Automated systems are precise in barcode scanning and transaction management, reducing inventory discrepancies and improving accounting accuracy.
These types of cash registers not only recognize items by reading barcodes, many of them already have RFID technology, which is capable of recognizing the product through its label as soon as it comes into contact with the cash register.
Improved shopping experience
Consumers appreciate the convenience of these checkouts. They appreciate being able to make their purchases quickly and without having to interact with a cashier, which is especially appealing to those who prefer a more independent shopping process.
According to statistics, 87% of consumers say they prefer to shop in a store with self-checkout. This data demonstrates customer demand and acceptance.
Department stores adopt self-checkouts
Large stores such as El Corte Inglés in its supermarket section, Decathlon, Ikea or Inditex in its Stradivarius stores have chosen to implement this option as an alternative to complete the shopping process for their customers.
Not everything is a benefit
There are many challenges that this solution faces, such as dealing with technical issues that may arise with product readers failing, or the misuse that some users may make of them for their own benefit.
However, it is important to remember that technology is constantly evolving and continuous improvements can address many of these issues.
An Alternative Vision
One company that has been reticent to adopt self-checkout is the supermarket chain Trader Joe’s. According to executives Palbaum and Basalone, this decision is based on two main factors: preserving workers’ jobs and the idea of not burdening customers with more tasks.
The company believes that these kiosks are not easy to use and therefore do not align with its customer experience-focused approach. Trader Joe’s pays close attention to the shopping experience in its stores, with customer service protocols and avoidance of checkout lines. Creating an emotional connection with its customers is one of the company’s priorities.
Self-service checkouts have revolutionized the industry by providing a faster and more convenient shopping experience for most customers. In addition to improving operational efficiencies and reducing the costs associated with maintaining a physical store, these types of kiosks have gained consumer preference. While it is critical to address the concerns and challenges that this solution may bring, it is undeniable that self-checkout kiosks are on track to continue to transform and enhance the retail shopping experience.
As we have seen in the case of Trader Joe’s, the adoption of this technology is a strategic decision that depends on the values and business approaches of each company. At Cosin Consulting, we specialize in creating customized retail projects that meet all of our clients’ software and hardware needs. With our experience and vision of the retail sector, we can unlock new opportunities and drive success in a constantly evolving industry. Contact us and our team of experts will help you improve the shopping experience at your point of sale, hand in hand with our partners such as Retail Pro or Intersolve.