While self checkout systems are nothing new, they’ve experienced a tremendous surge recently and use will likely double in the next couple of years, experts at Kiosk Marketplace say. And they’re not just popping up in supermarkets but other retail markets such as convenience stores and department stores.
As a grocery manager or CEO of a small business, you may choose to integrate self checkout lanes or kiosks into your business. Is it right for you? That depends on a variety of factors, but the good news is that today’s self checkout technology is easier to install and use than ever.
The benefits of self checkout
The Business Bee helps outline some of the pros of self checkouts as you consider whether they’re a good fit for your business:
Efficiency & speed
The added speed at which customers can checkout and pay for their purchases is perhaps the biggest advantage of self checkout lanes. Allowing customers to ring up items themselves shortens the lines at traditional checkout lanes, decreases wait times and eases the stress on employees – especially during times of increased traffic such as the holidays.
Multiple self checkout lanes and kiosks take up relatively small areas with several kiosks filling the same space as a traditional checkout area and cashier in some cases. That’s important for smaller businesses where floor space is at a premium.
Paying the salaries of multiple cashiers during slow times – particularly ones that aren’t doing additional tasks – can add up. With a self checkout system, a single employee can monitor several kiosks without sacrificing the service that your customers need. This will enable you to save money.
While self checkout lanes are the wave of the future for many supermarket and retail stores, there are some drawbacks. Customers who aren’t very tech-savvy can struggle to navigate their way through self checkout lanes and may need assistance. A lack of personal interaction is another potential drawback, especially for those customers who enjoy the one-on-one interaction with a cashier.
How to make self checkouts work for you
Above everything else, customers value ease of use when it comes to using business-supplied technology. Retailers also need to accommodate the ways in which shoppers use technology. And customers value having options when they shop – whether it’s through self checkout lanes, traditional lanes, or mobile apps branded by a retailer.
Another important factor to consider are the demographics of your customer base. Older customers may still prefer traditional checkout lanes; baby boomers may use a combination of both traditional and self-checkout lanes, while millennials are relying increasingly on mobile devices for many aspects of their lives, including shopping.
Self checkout technology has advanced tremendously and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Today’s systems include features such as modular designs with separate scanning, payment, and bagging units, while optimizing floor space. Other systems are convertible in that they can be switched to a cashier-assisted mode if customer lines are beginning to form throughout the store. And some systems now include features that accommodate visually or hearing impaired shoppers.
As digital couponing continues to grow, it’s becoming even more important for self-checkout lanes to be able to scan digital coupons from a customer’s smartphone. Personalization is also important for retail customers; once they’ve swiped their loyalty card into the self-checkout kiosk, the system should be able to display the items they buy on a regular basis.
The bottom line is that self-checkout is something that most consumers have come to expect. At TRUNO, we provide complete solutions to implement self checkout lanes in your store – solutions that are customer-friendly, secure, and efficient.