Self-checkout is here to stay. According to research by Global Market Insights, the automated checkout market is expected to reach $4 billion by 2024. The IoT industry is not only making it possible, but also an attractive option for smart retailers, including department stores, supermarkets, gas stations and convenience stores. The growing popularity is not surprising considering the two key advantages:
Checkout goes mobile
- Reduced labor costs—Instead of requiring one cashier per checkout lane, stores can now assign one checkout manager to oversee multiple machines. These machines also generally take up less space, and smart retail stores can add more displays or add additional checkouts, as needed. In a SOTI survey of retailers, 73% said they were in favor of self-service technologies because they not only reduce the staff workload, but they believe it improves the shopper experience.
- Customer convenience—Shoppers want shorter waits and in a survey conducted by NPR, 39% of the respondents said that going through automated checkout is faster than waiting for a cashier.
Mobile checkout, while still in its infancy, is starting to gain traction in some smart retail chains, most notably grocery stores. Mobile checkout refers to any checkout system that employs smart handheld devices not anchored to a specific in-store location. They may belong to the store or to customers. Either way, shoppers use them to scan and bag items as they add them to their shopping carts. Some app-based mobile checkout technology allows for the creation of shopping lists, which shoppers can prepare in advance before they enter the store. Then as they proceed through the store aisles, they check off the items on their devices. When they’re ready to pay, they complete their purchases by presenting their device and order total to an attendant at a checkout line.
A more advanced option, “scan-and-go,” allows shoppers to skip the checkout lane altogether—they simply charge the total to a linked credit card or debit card on the device or within the app and then present a digital receipt to a clerk stationed at the store exit.
Mobile checkout has an added advantage for store merchants, who can use data about the purchases, which is recorded within the app and attached to a customer’s personal profile, to push notifications of special offers, money-off coupons and other promotions.
Self-checkout may soon be the norm
While a trained cashier can certainly scan a cart full of goods faster than the average shopper, most shoppers perceive self-checkout as more efficient and less frustrating than waiting on line for a cashier. With the mobile checkout option, customers feel that are really taking “matters” into their own hands, which results in a more positive shopping experience.
Automated checkout is just one more way the IoT industry is transforming the in-store shopping experience. If you’d like to talk more about the options available for your retail customers, contact the IoT experts at Ingram Micro
or call (800) 456-8000, ext. 76251.