Self-checkout technology is a new way for retailers to make the shopping experience easier and more convenient for customers. With this technology, customers can scan and bag their own items without having to wait in a line that is staffed by a store cashier.
However, self-checkout technology is not only beneficial for customers—retailers benefit from it, too. It lowers labor costs and increases operational efficiency. And with this technology, retailers can expand their investments in future technology.
Retailers want to invest in self-checkout as the interest in public health and hygiene and faster service has become the most significant factor in its growth, especially during the pandemic.
Another reason is that investing in technology gives them a higher return on investment (ROI) because they do not have to hire additional workers who need to be paid higher wages due to inflation. Self-checkout puts more of the work on the customer, and so negates the need for additional personnel.
This is the best thing about technology: it does not remain static and continues to improve to give consumers and retailers the best experience and higher revenues.
Here are some of the latest developments that we are now seeing in self-checkout solutions:
Resolving the Skip-Scan Issue
In recent years, self-checkout technology has become increasingly popular in retail stores. However, it has also become a way for some customers to skip-scan some products, which has been an issue for retailers.
Some store owners are exploring loss prevention solutions by adding cameras that detect if a shopper does not scan an item. It alerts staff and customers of failed scans and will give the customer the option to try again.
Handling Age-restricted Products
A common issue for retailers is the selling of age-restricted products, such as cigarettes and alcohol, at self-checkout stations.
New developments in technology have begun to resolve this issue. Some self-checkout machines now have the ability to scan the customer’s ID and verify their age. This means convenience stores and other retailers can now offer age-restricted products for self-checkout without worrying about selling their products to underage customers.
With this technology, retailers can offer a convenient and hassle-free experience for all types of products bought by customers of all age groups.
Payment Without Using Barcodes
As self-checkout technology continues to evolve, new and more convenient scanning methods are being explored. One such method is using cameras to identify and pay for items without barcodes.
It is still in the early stages of development, but it has the potential to revolutionize the self-checkout experience. Early tests of this technology have been implemented in places where customers only purchase a handful of items, such as stadiums, cinemas, and coffee shops.
Shoppers simply place the items on the self-checkout scanner and get them automatically paid for. The technology relies on cameras that identify the product and instantly relay the item’s price to the point-of-sale system. Customers can then quickly pay using their card or cash through an automated cash recycler.
Camera-based self-checkout is still in its infancy, but it shows promise as a more efficient and customer-friendly way to shop. This will eliminate the need to look for and scan barcodes, which adds time to the checkout process. This development is certainly one to watch out for in the next few years.
But even with self-checkout, retailers must still optimize these machines to accept cash. Approximately 22% of adults in the U.S. are unbanked or underbanked, which means they usually pay in cash. Self-checkouts must incorporate this as part of customer service so they will be equipped to meet the needs of all customers.
Self-checkout Technology Will Continue to Improve
Self-checkout technology is a win-win for both retailers and customers. Retailers can reduce their in-store labor burden and increase efficiency, while customers can enjoy a faster and more convenient shopping experience.
This technology will continue to evolve, and the future is sure to provide even more efficiency and better security for customers and business owners alike.