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Seeking Self-Checkout Options for Retailers September 21th, 2022

Seeking Self-Checkout Options for Retailers
You have the option to craft experiences that remove friction and increase the speed, convenience, and ease that consumers demand.  

Retailers have explored self-checkout solutions to enhance customer experiences for some time. Convenience, speed, and ease make a positive impression on consumers with a growing list of retailers, both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce, vying for their business. However, the pandemic added more urgency. Since 2020, consumers have looked for self-checkout options as a way to socially distance and minimize touch. Self-checkout systems, including those that leverage artificial intelligence (AI), help retailers meet this demand.

The Kiosk Self-Checkout System 

Consumers who grew more accustomed to interacting with retailers digitally during pandemic shutdowns are comfortable with kiosks in retail settings. Bringing some of the “online experience” into stores allows customers to shop independent of help from sales associates and cashiers.  

The success of these systems depends on several factors. First, the software must deliver intuitive user experiences – and never be complex or intimidating. Retailers must ensure that every customer can use their kiosks easily and comfortably regardless of age or technology skills. Next, kiosks need to be integrated with a full-featured payments platform so that customers can use their preferred payment methods, whether credit cards, debit cards, cash, contactless payment cards, mobile wallets, or gift cards. To complete a customer-centric transaction, retailers should consider giving customers the option to choose a digital or paper receipt, providing proof of purchase, details about the store’s return policy, and, possibly, a QR code for a survey or to encourage additional purchases.  

These systems have become common in big box retail locations and supermarkets. However, they still require touch to complete transactions. 

Self-Checkout Without the “Checkout”  

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Innovators have developed cashierless systems that eliminate a stop at a checkout counter. One high-profile example is Amazon Go stores implementing “Just Walk Out” technology. With this system, consumers download a free Amazon Shopping app, open it when they arrive at an Amazon Go store, and check in by scanning a QR code. Then, shoppers browse and select items, and when they’re finished shopping, they can simply walk out of the store. The Just Walk Out system tracks the items the consumer selected, totals prices, and charges the account tied to the Shopping App. Just Walk Out technology allows a shopper to have zero contact with anyone else in the store.  

Various solution builders are bringing cashierless checkout to market for other retailers. They range from systems of smart cameras that recognize products and technology, such as shelf sensors, and solution components that accurately track the products that customers choose, totals prices, integrate scales for bulk foods purchases and prevent losses.  

Retailers can also choose self-checkout or cashierless checkout solutions that include AI. Solutions leveraging artificial intelligence can reduce the need for some hardware required with other solutions, training machine vision models to track customers and products that move around the store. AI can also automate the delivery of promotions and coupons when customers choose or show interest in a specific product.  

AI also allows retailers to address regional differences in language, products, and other variations by training the model specifically for the country where the retailer will implement it.  

22-Zebra-Retail-Q3C2-Downloadable-(EN)Benefits for Retailers – and Solutions Providers 

Although self-checkout meets consumer demands for fast and easy checkout experiences, these systems also offer retailers significant advantages. Fully digitized shopping journeys give shoppers real-time data on inventory and can accurately monitor shelf life and help reduce waste. The system can also alert staff if shelves or racks need to be restocked, contributing to a bump in revenues.  

Designing and implementing self-checkout and cashierless checkout solutions also represents a significant opportunity for technology solution providers who can meet the needs of a disruptive and quick-changing market. Consider adding solutions that remove friction from shopping experiences to your portfolio and your growth strategy.

 

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