Self-service doesn’t mean no service

As self-checkout demand continues to rise; retailers need more advanced solutions. Here’s how to transform self-service into better service, giving customers the choice, convenience and safety, they want.

Self-service doesn’t mean no service

Not all self-checkout solutions are created equal

As consumer shopping habits change, retailers need to adapt to keep up with competitors and differentiate themselves—and that includes upping their self-service game. Self-checkout is much more than just the hardware. The most modern self-checkout solutions, like those from NCR, are leading in innovation with features that ensure increased satisfaction for both the retailer and consumer. Self-checkout should give your customers faster, better, more personalized and safer service—and that all adds up to more customer satisfaction.

 Four key benefits of innovative, top-notch self-checkout service

1. Make it faster – Long checkout lines are something no one wants to deal with and there are plenty of stats to back that up: An October 2019 Capgemini survey  showed that 60 percent of adults said they were irritated with long checkout lines. When asked which aspects of the shopping experience consumers value most, 83 percent of respondents cited a quick and easy checkout. In addition, Box Technologies and Intel in the UK stated that 90 percent of shoppers actively avoid stores with long queues and 70 percent said they might not go back to a store with long lines.

2. Give them better service – Self-service needs to be consistent service. With the right self-checkout solution, you can count on dependable service for your customers at every point of their checkout experience, and that hasn’t always been the case. With more reliable, easy-to-use solutions available, the use of self-checkout has been increasing over the last decade and these numbers continue to surge in the marketplace.

According to LPM, the SCO market is expected to exceed more than $5 billion by 2024. And RBR found that global shipments of self-checkout terminals increased 52 percent year over year in 2019, with growth driven by the US market. And that’s great news for retailers who can free up their cashiers to concentrate on other parts of their business and focus on processing larger transactions, increasing the speed of checkout lanes and their store’s revenue.

3. Personalize your customer’s experience – In addition to providing a fast, easy and convenient checkout experience, innovative self-checkout solutions have features that personalize your customer’s shopping experience. For example, they can check out and pay the way they want, whether that’s with their tap-and-go debit card or using mobile payments. And you can use insights to target promotions, coupons and loyalty offers to the right customers, pushing personalization even further. And when your customers get the message that you know them and what they like, it leads to more customer loyalty.

4. Give them the safety they need – Nearly two-thirds of consumers are changing their grocery shopping habits in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic—87 percent of shoppers say they would prefer to shop in stores with touchless or robust self-checkout options (Shekel Brainweigh Ltd, 2020).

Here are some examples of how innovative self-check solutions enable contactless service:

  • Age verification uses the self-checkout’s front-facing camera to securely validate a customer’s age using AI algorithms. This solution allows shoppers who are buying age-restricted items to efficiently checkout without interruption or contact from a store attendant.
  • Hand-held mobile devices give your employees the ability to monitor and respond to multiple self-checkout lanes. That helps ensure a fast, frictionless checkout experience for your customers and is an effective way for your employees to interact with them when they need to—all while maintaining a safe social distance.
  • Pay options like NCR’s FastPay allow shoppers to tap their payment card anytime during the transaction. Then the self-checkout solution will automatically finalize the transaction without your customer needing to touch any buttons.
  • Touchless self-checkout solutions reduce the need to touch self-checkout screens and payment terminals and allow you to make the necessary touchless changes to provide safe customer service while protecting your employees.

 Giving consumers the faster, safer, more convenient service they demand with self-checkouts

Cambridge-based Forrester Consulting found a whopping 97 percent of U.S. grocery shoppers view long lines as a deterrent. They also found that 65 percent of those shoppers are willing to head toward self-checkout machines if staffed checkout lines are too busy. Also, 46 percent of shoppers aged 18 to 34 said, when given a choice, they prefer using self-checkout over a cashier for guaranteed service (CBC News, 2019).

So, it’s clearly important to your customers that you don’t make them wait, especially during a time when customers don’t want to spend too much time in close proximity with others. With the most innovative, modern self-checkout solutions, you can ensure a faster checkout experience with fewer interruptions, faster moving lines and overall better customer experiences.