How to Build a Strong, Customer-Centric Self-Checkout Strategy

Self-checkout is already a big part of how customers shop — according to RBR’s report, “EPOS and Self Checkout in 2020”, shipments of self-checkout solutions increased by 52% in 2019 to a new record high. But as the new normal continues to evolve and shoppers are seeking low-contact checkout options, self-checkout is going to continue to play a major role in how customers pay for their purchases. So what can retailers do to be sure that they are optimizing their self-checkout strategy to meet their shoppers’ changing expectations?

Listen, Measure, Test and Adjust

How can retailers learn how their shoppers and store associates are using self-checkout solutions? Use data intelligently. As customers and store associates change their behavior to maintain social distancing and reduce physical contact with surfaces in the store, it’s important that retailers understand these changes and can make adjustments to meet their needs. Successful self-checkout programs have system health, strategy health and shopper value at their core. This includes monitoring key performance indicators like intervention rates, utility rates and other security indicators to understand gaps and areas that could be improved.

Apply Task and Fraud Management Tools Strategically

Frictionless technology — including IoT sensors, cameras, weight security, item tagging and RFID — enable retailers to strike the right balance between friction for shoppers and risk for themselves. Shoppers are able to look up objects faster and more accurately, and retailers are equipped to maintain their profits, reduce friction for shoppers and keep valuable product from walking out the door due to product-related fraud.

For example, deploying a Mobile Operations Manager can help shopper assistants serve more than one guest at a time with remote exception managing capabilities. This can make it easier for stores to move customers through the front end more quickly, limit close person-to-person interactions, keep lines shorter and improve stores’ ability to adhere to new lower occupancy restrictions.


Leverage Professional Services

Implementing self-checkout is more than purchasing solutions and scheduling an installation date. From testing and implementation to enhancing current and integrating future solutions, a dedicated partner can help retailers collect and understand data and pivot based on that new information. Using a combination of global capabilities, including consulting, professional and managed services, can ensure that retailers’ technology is serving shoppers and store associates well. An end-to-end solution focus gives retailers the ability to deploy and maintain a long-term self-checkout investment.

To learn more about how retailers can analyze automated checkout to maintain a customer-centric store environment, read the IDC Spotlight, “Optimizing Automated Checkout for an Excellent Customer Experience”.

Paul Lysko is Global Product Line Director, Self-Service Solutions for Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. He leads Toshiba’s Self-Service business team, providing the largest retailers in the world integrated self-service solutions to optimize their operations and provide their shoppers an excellent experience. As his team reinvents the front-end, he is focused on providing clients the ability to use data to performance-tune their hardware and software to create the experience that is right for them. Lysko earned a BS from Duke University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He has 20 years of experience in Operations, Logistics, FP&A and Product Management in high-performance organizations from the U.S. Air Force to Amazon, and now Toshiba. He is a husband and father of two young children, and lives in Raleigh, N.C. 

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