Imagine a world where you walk into your favourite store, pick up the things you want and just walk out with your shopping bag without boring and time-consuming checkout queues. Sounds like a scene from a futuristic move? Well, this is the new reality.
Welcome to the world of autonomous check- out! The rise of self-checkout stores and unmanned stores like Amazon Go is liberating consumers across the world from one thing they do not like - long checkout lines.
This unique experience of self-checkout has caught the fancy of the retailers and is propelling them to come up with new queue busting strategies. Coping with COVID-19, the retail landscape is changing to be #FutureReady. Nearly two-thirds of consumers are changing their grocery shopping habits in response to the pandemic, according to a recent consumer survey from Shekel Brainweigh Ltd., a provider of weighing technologies. It also stated that 87% of shoppers say they would prefer to shop in stores with no-touch or robust self-checkout solutions.
This is not just a one-off study. When Wirecard, the German payment processor, polled consumers worldwide in December 2019 on which retail technologies they would be interested in using, the majority of respondents opted for a cashier-less experience.
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When customers become cashiers
Self-checkout (also known as self-service checkout and as Semi-Attended Customer-Activated Terminal(SACAT)) machines provide a mechanism for customers to process their own purchases from a retailer i.e. the customer performs the job of the cashier themselves, by scanning and applying payment for the items.
Self-checkout: Cool, convenient and chic way of shopping
- Less waiting time than the traditional checkout lines
- Less cart abandonment
- More flexible than traditional cash registers
- High customer engagement: Buyers need to scan product barcodes and place products into a bagging area, and sometimes even weigh products.
- Less labour costs as one member of staff can overlook several self-checkout counters.
Self-checkout apps are trending
As shoppers practice social distancing, stores are witnessing a major increase in customers using self-checkout apps to avoid standing in lines. According to a recent report, self-checkout systems market size to exceed $4 bn by 2024.
Self-checkout apps allow shoppers to scan goods as they add them to the shopping basket or cart using store-provided technology. With 63% of consumers already using their mobile devices to find product information and reviews in-store, supporting mobile self-checkout is a natural extension of the in-store digital experience.
Companies that are at the helm of new and advanced technologies are dominating the sector.
The change is coming and it’s coming fast. Customers are seeking for new, unique and hassle-free experiences, and self- checkout is a great way to provide that. The question is – are you ready to get on-board?