The Evolving Checkout Environment
Author Profile: Zack Bristow is a subject matter expert in Toshiba ACE and self-service solutions. Based out of our Dallas office, Zack joined Team Truno in 2009. He is today's guest author on TRUNO Thought Leadership.
How does today’s grocery store look different than the grocery stores from ten, or even five years ago? How will it look five to ten years from now? If you have not asked yourself this question, now is time to do so. There are many technological changes that are on the horizon. Truno is a technology partner positioned to help you seize the opportunity to stay ahead of the curve with the evolving checkout environment.
In many markets customers are accustomed to having self-serve options available. This is a growing trend within our current consumer culture that is not likely to slow down or stop. We as consumers enjoy self-service everything; whether it be the ability to buy books through mobile apps, print boarding passes prior to arriving at the airport, and the option to order almost everything immediately online.
The grocery industry is challenged to adapt to the new self-service culture. As self-service continues to be an expected aspect of commerce, opting out could affect business by growing percentages. Fortunately there are many options to help incorporate the ability for the end customer to use self-service technology inside of your stores. Let’s take a look at a few of these technologies, and how they could change your customer service levels.
The most widespread self-service technology in 2015 is the Self-Checkout. There are many possible benefits of utilizing Self-Checkout technology within businesses. Your main goals can be targeted in order to better understand how adding Self-Checkout can be advantageous to your business. A large reason our customers acquire Self-Checkouts is that their consumers are requesting the option, or worse, taking their business to another store that offers self-serve technology. Additional advantages are the possibility of reducing labor costs, increasing register availability in non-peak hours, and enhancing customer satisfaction. All of these, along with a reasonably fast return on your investment, have led many grocery stores to invest in self-checkout lanes.
As millennials and beyond become regular grocery shoppers, a big subject on everyone’s mind is how we can better engage younger generation customers. One such way is to be sure that your store is mobile ready. There are many options available to help incorporate mobile technology into the grocery shopping experience.
Let’s go through a hypothetical mobile checkout process that is possible with the technology available today. A customer enters the store that is already registered with your store’s loyalty and mobile shopper program. They begin shopping as normal; however they are now scanning items using their own phone before they place the items into their shopping cart. If the customer buys produce, a self-service produce scale can be available to weigh and the customer would then place the barcode for the total of the item. This saves both the customer and the grocer’s time over having to weigh at checkout, particularly if the customer uses Self-Checkout. Once the customer is finished shopping, they can go to a payment kiosk and tender the transaction. Mobile checkout allows customers the choice of how they would like to interact with store employees. It is important to note that this does not remove customer interaction; it just changes the way in which we are interacting. For instance, when a customer scans peanut butter with their mobile phone, you can customize the application to ask them if they would like to buy jelly, or inform them that there is a loyalty member discount for jelly at this time. Mobile checkout provides real time, intra-shopping feedback to the customer which could increase overall basket size.
One of the greatest features of self-service technology within a grocery store is that it allows you to use your most valuable resource, your team members! On an all front-end checkout layout, the majority of your work force is trying to accomplish one task: getting the customer out the door. On an optimized self-service front-end, you have the option of reducing labor, or placing your labor at key customer service points throughout the store.
Truno is here to partner with you in order to help you reach your goals, and serve your customers in the best way possible. Let's prepare your business for today’s evolving checkout landscape!