I have always liked the idea of self-checkout registers. I like the concept and the ability to checkout quickly.
Retailers look to smartphones to cut the line December 16, by Lauren Zumbach, Chicago Tribune Self-checkout is supposed to be a time-saver. But that's before you're admonished about an "unexpected item in bagging area. Or before you accidentally hit the button to pay with credit when you meant debit.
By the time you trudge off in search of human help, the reward for attempting to avoid the regular checkout line is an even longer checkout process.
For years, the theoretically appealing but too-often irritating self-checkout experience hasn't changed much. But now that many customers shop with smartphones, retailers are trying to speed the process with technology that can cut down the time spent waiting in line, while helping stores cut labor costs or free up cashiers for other tasks.
An Self checkout registers version let customers scan as they shopped but still required payment at a traditional self-checkout machine. Steve Hyzny, of suburban Chicago, downloaded the app and tried it for the first time at a Hodgkins Sam's Club last week.
He's wary of apps that want to store his credit card info but said scanning was straightforward and sped up his trip. Likewise, when Amazon's Seattle grocery store, Amazon Go, opens to the public next year, shoppers will bypass checkout lanes altogether, automatically charging their purchases to their Amazon account.
Amazon has shared few details about how the technology will work, beyond that it can track when items are removed from shelves using some of the same technology that powers self-driving cars. Even so, retail industry observers expect Amazon will be the company that takes the concept forward.
Unlike traditional self-checkout, Amazon Go isn't asking customers to take on the cashier's role, using similar equipment, but getting rid of checkout altogether, said Neil Stern, senior partner at Chicago-based consulting firm McMillanDoolittle.
After a customer pays through the app, an employee at the exit scans a barcode the app displays on the customer's phone that will show the employee a list of items paid for, to check against the contents of the cart.
While self-checkout is a step in the right direction, Amazon Go feels like a giant leap forward," said Tom Caporaso, CEO of e-commerce technology company Clarus Commerce. Until recently, convenience and grocery stores were more worried about services like in-store pickup than better self-checkout, said Wes Schroll, CEO of Madison, Wis.
Its Shop Fetch app will be in stores by January, including several in the Midwest. Customers use that smartphone app to scan items as they add them to a shopping cart, and the app totals purchases and displays discounts and nutrition information. Shop Fetch still requires users to pay at a traditional register but transmits purchase information to the cashier to speed the process, Schroll said.
Since the Amazon Go announcement, Schroll said interest in the company's technology has increased.
Self-checkout isn't a new idea, but less-than-seamless technology may have been holding it back, said Stern, who described Amazon's system as a "game-changer" if it works as promised and if customers get on board with a new way of shopping.
Now it's something they have to take seriously," he said. More efficient checkout also means stores will need fewer checkout lanes, freeing up space for more inventory, and potentially fewer employees.
The warehouse club is keeping its self-checkout registers too.Dec 09, · Self-checkout machines have started popping up at many local grocery stores.
Safeway, Giant and ShopRite use the technology to allow customers to pay for and bag groceries themselves, without. Jun 06, · Self-checkout has a psychological effect: as long as the shopper is taking an active part, it seems to go faster. And when there are lines at the other registers, a self-checkout system will.
Aug 13, · Metro says that it has no immediate plans to install the hybrid self-checkout registers in its Extra Future Store, the supermarket that Metro opened in Rheinberg, Germany, to showcase a range of emerging technologies.
Self-checkout is a boost in terms of labor savings, and speed through checkouts for increasingly small tickets, due to changing and smaller household units.
Look for more self-checkout, not less. A larger base of consumers have accepted them.
The growth of self-checkouts throughout the retail and grocery industries has increased demand for self-checkout video analytics. That, in turn, is driving deployment of cameras above the self-checkout registers just as it has with manned checkouts.
Oct 13, · Self checkout systems enable retailers to be cost efficient and give the shopper a better shopping experience. This can lead to more profit for the retailer and lower prices for the consumer. In my meetings with retailers there has been always been a heated debate about Self Checkout vs Manned Registers.