It’s no secret that cashiers at retailers are starting to be replaced by self-checkout options. The rise and success of Amazon Go has the retail industry adopting new technologies to remain contenders in customer satisfaction.
The majority of big chain retail establishments are implementing new checkout options: express checkout, curbside pick-up, registers for customers to check themselves out, and scan and go. Big industry names like Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Nike are leading the charge in scan and go technology. However, the switch comes with pros and cons.
The Con of Self-checkout
Fewer employees are being given time to work during regular hours in the checkout lines because self-checkout options are replacing them. The investment in new technology can be expensive; however, the savings can be significant.
The Pro of Self-checkout
Fewer employees are being stuck behind a counter mindlessly scanning products and taking money. Instead, they are walking the floor and assisting customers in other important ways. These store employees can become brand ambassadors and product experts. These interactions nurtures customer loyalty and increase sales.
Scan and Go Technology
Scan and go technology uses machine learning and computer vision to identify products when a shopper points their smartphone at them. Customers scan the barcode or QR code and then the item is added to their digital cart so they can pay via an app. Along with the efficiency of the checkout experience, customers are required to download the company’s app. This enables retailers to send customers coupons, deals, and special offers that help build loyalty. It’s a win-win.
Another reason customers are increasingly adopting scan and go technology is because the typical checkout process can be extremely time-consuming.
“Americans spend 37 billion hours a year waiting in line. Three quarters of Gen Xers and millennials are interested in using scan and pay technology to speed up these processes.” – Tarang Sethia, Vice President of Product Management and Digital Customer and Store Experience at 7-Eleven.
The efficiencies of the new scan and go technology promote a faster checkout experience for customers, thus providing a more frictionless shopping experience altogether.
Who’s Doing it Right?
In the midst of the retail revival, take a look at these industry leading retailers who are taking chances today and launching ground-breaking store concepts and customer experiences.
7-Eleven’s Scan & Pay lets customers skip the checkout line and pay for their purchases using the 7-Eleven app, which also houses the 7Rewards loyalty program.
Fairway Market, a New York City-based retailer, deployed a cashierless checkout app of its own across its 19 stores, enabling shoppers to scan item barcodes or use product lookup for non-coded items such as produce. The app keeps a running total of purchases and also delivers appropriate product recommendations as well as information about coupons and store promotions. To pay for their purchases, customers scan a QR code displayed on the wall before leaving the store.
Sam’s Club developed technology that combines machine learning and purchase data to automatically update the customer’s shopping list as items are scanned and removed from the basket. In addition, the company will use voice and search capabilities to guide members where to find items in the massive store, and will also test electronic shelf labels to automatically update prices, removing the need for price signs.
Nike Instant Checkout allows shoppers to scan and pay for purchases from within the Nike App skipping the checkout line. Instant Checkout stations are positioned throughout the store so shoppers can bag and go quickly.
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