Self Service Checkouts – Pros, Cons, and How to Implement Self Checkout Machines in Your Store
Regardless of whether you are shopping at a grocery store, a retail chain, or any other location, having to wait in line at the checkout counter is a dreadful experience. To provide customers with a more consumer-friendly experience, businesses implemented self-checkouts to expedite the process and lower costs as well. In fact, according to a recent report that surveyed 2,000 shoppers in the US, 81% said that a quick checkout would make the in-store shopping experience better, and 76% said the same about self-checkouts.
Since so many people would like to use self-checkouts, you need to start implementing them in your stores as well to attract and retain new customers while staying ahead of the competition. Let’s take a closer look at why self-checkout is good.
Self Service Checkout is a Win-Win
The reason why self-checkouts have become so popular is that they are beneficial for both the customers and the stores as well. Shoppers can expedite the least enjoyable process of shopping since they do not have to wait in line for their items and will, therefore, have fewer reservations about making repeated trips to a particular store. For the business, self-checkout machines offer an opportunity to save costs. Experts say that somewhere between 50%-80% of all jobs in retail could be automated, and self-checkout technology could be just the thing to help keep costs down.
Self Checkout Machines Advantages and Disadvantages
While we mentioned some of the advantages of self-checkout machines, there are many more such as:
- Less maintenance from in-store employees
- Better store capacity
- You always have enough cashiers
- Increased employee productivity
The disadvantages of self-checkout include:
- Increased theft
- Equipment malfunctions
- Resentment from in-store employees
- Dehumanizing your store
Now that we know all of the benefits and downsides of self-service checkouts let’s take a look at the future of this technology.
What is the Future of Self Checkouts?
Even though there are still a lot of things that need to work out about self-checkouts, all of the data and customer trends show that this is the direction brick and mortar stores headed. We see the stores like Amazon Go, who have used retail technology development to eliminate the checkout process. The technology keeps track of every item that has been taken off the shelf and put back. When a person is finished shopping, they can leave the store, and they will receive a bill via email.
Some stores have already implemented RFID technology to expedite the self-checkout process further. When a customer approaches the self-checkout terminal, all they have to do is place their basket on the counter, and the machine rings up all the items inside. You no longer have to take out everything on-by-one and scan it.
We also have to remember that brick and mortar stores are facing increased competition from online platforms, which offer shoppers the convenience of buying something without even leaving their house. Therefore, the physical stores need to be able to provide a high level of satisfaction on their end as well to keep customers coming in.
Is Self Checkout Right for You?
Whenever you are considering whether or not to implement self-service checkouts, you need to take into account what you are selling. If you have items that are easy to handle and will be convenient for customers to bag themselves, then self-checkouts are right for you. Also, consider your clientele. Are they looking for grab-and-go convenience? If so, you must offer them what they are looking for.
Another thing you might consider is making such expedited checkouts your hallmark. Even though a lot of stores have already implemented self-checkouts in some shape or form, you can go above and beyond and make it even faster and more convenient. This does not mean you have to go all-out like Amazon Go, but anything you can do to give your store advantage is worth doing.
Start Implementing Self Checkouts Today
For many shoppers, the regular checkout line is a big hassle. This is supported by a recent report that found that 60% of adults in the US find regular checkouts irritating. Therefore, you are turning away a lot of potential clients if you are not using self-service terminals.
Since self-checkouts are the future, you need to be prepared for the latest trends that are starting to be implemented in stores around the world. While such technology will require significant investments in terms of time and money, they are sure to pay off in the long run with higher customer loyalty and increased revenue.