A businessman in a hurry needs to pick up some breath mints before a meeting. He enters a convenience store and sees five people waiting in line. He immediately exits in search of a better option.
This is just one example showing why self-checkout is one of the fastest growing movements in retail today. While the technology has been popping up in many types of venues since Amazon Go launched in 2016, the demand is especially prevalent in convenience retail outlets.
self-checkout is not about reducing labor,self-checkout allows the store to move people away from cashier stations to other areas.
Customer can complete a self-service transaction in 30 seconds compared to waiting as much as 20 minutes in a cashier line for the same transaction.
The most important goal is improving the customer experience.
Self-checkout also makes the employee's job easier since it "smooths out" the checkout traffic. Prior to self-checkout, there could be 20 people in line, which stresses the employee. With self-checkout, the employee can oversee four checkout stations simultaneously.
The employee is there to "lighten the experience" for the customers. This includes greeting the customer and offering to help if needed.
Store layout is important for a successful deployment.
The self-checkout kiosks should be front and center at the store.Some retailers make the mistake of not changing the layout of a store and placing the self-checkout in the corner.
It is also important that the customer be able see that someone is available for help. The associate waves the customer to one of the checkouts they supervise.
It is also important for customers to be able to buy all products at the self-checkout.
You have to be able to do everything on the self-checkout, including food, including fuel, including age restricted items. This is doable even though someone needs to check the ID for age restricted items.
The panelists agreed cash acceptance remains important in self-checkout. Both companies tested credit-only self-checkout and found customers did not favor it.
The most a credit-only self-checkout kiosk did for Meyer's company was five transactions per day compared to as much as 300 for those that also accepted cash.
Even the credit card customers chose not to use credit-only kiosks, an observation.
The self-checkout doesn't change the ratio of cash to non-cash payments.Pilot, which now has 90 locations with self-checkout, averages 45% of transactions being self-checkout, with some stores as high as 70% self-checkout.
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