Solutions

Retail Self-Service

Solutions

Retail Self Service

Self-Checkout

COVID-19 Statement

With people actively being encouraged to distance themselves from one another in response to the novel COVID-19 virus, retailers are looking for ways to respond and adapt to help ease customers’ fears, concerns and avoidance of public spaces.

Standing in queues waiting to pay for purchases and interacting with cashiers, ideally needs to be eliminated to help safeguard retailers, their employees and customers without foregoing, of course, on the things that customers still expect from an in-store shopping experience – namely, convenience, choice, flexibility and accessibility.

One way to meet these expectations is through Self-Checkout.

Why Self-Checkout?

Self-Checkout helps improve the shopping experience for customers in various ways, while retailers get to meet their shoppers’ needs, as well as their own operational goals:

  • Self-Checkout improves the shopping experience by making more checkouts available more of the time, thereby giving consumers the power to pay for their purchases more quickly.
  • Shorter lines, greater privacy, control and more choice make consumers happier, while inspiring brand loyalty.
  • Retailers can deliver higher levels of service with the addition of Self-Checkout lanes, as employees can be redeployed from their front-end checkout duties to provide services elsewhere within the store.
  • Self-Checkout is available in multiple configurations to suit any retail format and brand consistency. It can also seamlessly integrate with existing systems.
  • There are no demographic boundaries with Self-Checkout. All shoppers benefit equally from choosing self-service, no matter their age or tech-savviness, thanks to a user-friendly interface that intelligently guides the customer through the entire checkout process.
  • Furthermore, shoppers new to Self-Checkout, or those needing a bit more help, will have access to an attendant who oversees the checkout lanes, monitors the transactions and can address any situation that may arise.
  • A number of psychological and physical theft deterrents are included in Self-Checkout technology to ensure accuracy and protect against shrinkage, including an integrated security scale, a sophisticated self-learning and adjusting weight database, intervention lights and sounds, as well as attendant-monitoring tools.
  • Money management is also made easier, as daily till takings always tally up.
  • Transactions involving legislated items, such as alcohol, cannot be finalised at a self-service checkout until they have been authorised by the on-duty attendant or supervisor.
  • Research shows that consumers are more likely to do repeat business with a retailer that provides Self-Checkout technology.

Solution Features

  • Flexible
  • Customisable
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Seamless POS integration
  • Extensive security
  • Full tender options
  • Multiple language support
  • Integrated scale for produce (optional)
  • Integrated EAS tag deactivation (optional)
  • Optional wired or wireless hand-held scanner
  • Security scale for weight verification
  • Audio and visual prompts alert shopper and attendant of error
  • Compatible with most industry-standard payment devices
  • Coupon collection bin with document sensor
  • Energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs
  • Technical support 24/7/365
  • Helpdesk with remote monitoring/diagnostics and support available
  • Project management, deployment, business consulting and installation services – all available through Altron BMS
  • Reduced human intervention
  • Security scale, lights and camera
  •  Increase in lanes available with same staff compliment
  • Cash management
  • Can be converted into a standard lane
  • Weight management database and interface for management of weights

What makes us different?

We’d love to engage with you on this solution.

Smart Trolley

Smart Trolley in a COVID-19 world

With people actively being encouraged to distance themselves from one another in response to the novel COVID-19 virus, retailers are looking for ways to respond and adapt to help ease customers’ fears, concerns and avoidance of public spaces.

Smart Trolley eliminates the need for customers to stand in queues or interact with cashiers to finalise their shopping transactions, thereby reducing the spread of the virus by limiting close interaction with others.

Smart Trolley Summary

Smart Trolley is an ‘intelligent’ shopping cart that keeps track of the items that customers select and enables them to pay without having to go through a checkout lane. The high-tech unit uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to scan and weigh products as customers place them in the trolley. A touchscreen near the trolley handle displays a running tally of items selected and an attached point-of-sale card terminal allows customers to pay for their purchases right on the trolley. Shoppers bag their own goods and, once payment is completed, exit the store.

Why Smart Trolley?

Smart Trolley allows for a uniquely enhanced shopping experience, with the need for personalised attention and the removal of the need to stand in a queue, all extremely appealing to customers.

The cashier-less tech also offers stores an opportunity to redefine the entire shopping experience, not just at checkout, by offering retailers an inexpensive yet scalable solution that can deploy quickly without making significant changes to store infrastructure.

Solution Features

  • An additional channel for customers to shop.
  • Customers can scan items and bag according to their preferences.
  • Customers can enjoy privacy regarding their purchases.
  • Retailers can deploy available store attendants to create a more personalised shopping experience.
  • Customers can be provided with detailed product, health, recipe, pricing and product location information.
  • Engage customers with the latest targeted promotions.
  • Use the solution as a mechanism to up-sell purchases (i.e. if a customer has scanned pasta, prompt the customer with specials on pasta sauces).

What makes us different?

We’d love to engage with you on this solution.

Mobile Shopper in a COVID-19 world

With people actively being encouraged to distance themselves from one another in response to the novel COVID-19 virus, retailers are looking for ways to respond and adapt to help ease customers’ fears, concerns and avoidance of public spaces.
Mobile Shopper eliminates the need for customers to stand in queues or interact with cashiers to finalise their shopping transactions, thereby reducing the spread of the virus by limiting close interaction with others.

Mobile Shopper Summary

Mobile Shopper is the use of either an in-store device or the customer’s mobile device to scan items and pay without needing to go to a point of-sale (POS) lane.

Shoppers use a retailer’s branded app on their own smartphones or the store provides a device to scan product barcodes while shopping.

The app provides information on products, including pricing. The app lists the customer’s purchases and keeps a running total of spend. The app then interfaces with the POS at the front of the store to facilitate checkout and payment. Throughout the shopping process, the app ‘talks’ to the store server, so all information is up to date.

Why Mobile Shopper?

Mobile Shopper allows for a uniquely enhanced shopping experience, with the need for personalised attention and the removal of the need to stand in a queue, all extremely appealing to customers. The cashier-less tech also offers stores an opportunity to redefine the entire shopping experience, not just at checkout, by offering retailers an inexpensive yet scalable solution that can deploy quickly without making significant changes to store infrastructure.

Solution Benefits
for the Customer

  • Empowerment
  • Ability to digitise and shop from shopping list
  • No more waiting in queues
  • Checkout convenience and customer choice
  • Better control over spending budget
  • Promotional information sent directly to screen

Solution Benefits
for the Retailer:

  • Reduced costs
  • Increased revenue
  • Enables the store to serve more customers with less staff on hand
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improved point-of-sale transaction speed
  • Effective solution for over-traded stores
  • Ability to deliver even greater service options
  • Interconnects with increasing customer digital journey expectations

What makes us different?

We’d love to engage with you on this solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Self-Checkout
  • Smart Trolley
  • Mobile Shopper in a COVID-19 world
Does Self-Checkout cater for small and large baskets of goods?

Yes, there are a variety of Self-Checkout solutions that cater for baskets from 1-12 items, to solutions that cater for monthly shopping trolleys and/or baskets.

Does Self-Checkout mean job losses and the end of customer service?

Undoubtedly, the elephant in the room when it comes to a broad-scale implementation of self-service checkouts in local retail stores is the perceived impact it will have on jobs. What will happen to the friendly cashier or the packer at the till if customers begin scanning and bagging items themselves? Surely jobs will be lost? If anything, Self-Checkout provides retailers with the opportunity to up-skill and redeploy their employees from front-end checkout duties to provide services elsewhere within the store; be it to answer in-aisle questions, maintain and replenish inventory and, above all, assist customers. With Self-Checkout, customer service – in fact, the entire customer experience – can be redefined and enhanced to help increase customer satisfaction and encourage customer loyalty. We’re talking a total shift in service philosophy and transforming the end-to-end shopping experience.

I don’t have space in my front-end for Self-Checkout?

On the contrary, while floor spaces can vary, most stores are similar in their front-end design. As such, it’s been established that retailers can fit four to six Self-Checkout lanes in a space normally reserved for three cashier attended checkouts. And depending on the needs and demographics of the store’s customers in terms of cash- and-card and/or card-only transactions, some units can be installed on a wall, countertop or even as a pedestal mount. The ideal model – and one that would probably best suit local retailers – could encompass a combination of Self-Checkout lanes for your small to medium basket customers, with the traditional cashier-manned tills reserved for trolleys, all on offer in one store.

Will Self-Checkout mean more shrinkage and lessened security?

With integrated features such as a security scale, a sophisticated self-learning and adjusting weight database, intervention lights and sounds, strategic store camera placement and attendant-monitoring tools, to name a few, retailers that use Self-Checkout technology often report reduced shrinkage. Money management is made easier too, as daily till takings always tally up. Furthermore, transactions involving legislated items, such as alcohol, cannot be finalised until they have been authorised by the on-duty attendant or supervisor.

Will my customers adopt this technology and use it?

Self-Checkout is already the norm in Europe and the US retail markets, having been introduced to customers there over two decades ago. In fact, these customers are already beginning to evolve beyond the traditional Self-Checkout model. South African banking customers have already accepted financial self-service solutions for more routine transactions and are displaying a demand for this kind of convenience when they do their daily grocery shop too.

My store is too small for Self-Checkout. Where will I find space for additional till points?

Self-Checkout tends to be associated with high- volume stores, but this doesn’t make it relevant only to that specific environment. Truth is, no store is too small to provide the exceptional customer service that Self-Checkout lanes offer. So don’t let the idea that your store sees less traffic distract from your goal of offering your shoppers more.

How do I prevent shrinkage?

Every item is scanned and then placed in the trolley. The weight of the item placed in the trolley is determined and matched against a weight database. Based on the weight, it is determined whether the product placed in the trolley is the same one that was scanned.

What happens if the product does not exist on the database or shows as not found?

Customers will still be allowed to place the item/s in the trolley and the store supervisor will be alerted. The customer will be stopped at the exit or can go to a supervisor station to resolve the issue.

Do I have to enter weights for every product into the system?

No, the system is self-learning and builds up a database of products and weights as items are scanned and placed inside trolleys. The first three scans of a product determine the weight of the product. Weight tolerances are also permitted and set up by the store.

What happens if a payment fails or a customer does not pay?

If a payment fails, the supervisor in-store is alerted and the customer can proceed to a supervisor station to conclude the transaction. To curb non-payment, store exits will have beacon technology to ensure that customers do not leave without paying for their purchases. If a customer tries to leave without finalising payment, an alarm will sound and security/supervisor will be alerted.

What is the price of the solution?

This is determined per requirement, as the solution has several options.

How do I integrate this solution with my current in-store solutions?

The solution will require product and relevant information from your in-store systems. These data feeds can be done via various methods, including import of files and web service interaction. Completed sales will be sent back to the store systems and will be formatted to be the same as in-store systems.

How do I prevent shrinkage?

A system of re-scan or partial re-scan, together with a customer trust level, is adopted to reduce or eliminate shrinkage. Re-scan or partial re-scan is a process whereby customers are spot-checked to establish whether all items they have in their basket have been scanned. This occurs once the shopping trip is finished and before payment. The system chooses which customers need to go through a re-scan or partial re-scan, according to flexible parameters set by the retailer.

Customers may feel offended or even upset when requested to do a re-scan. How do I handle this?

This is a sensitive matter and customers can become upset and see it as a waste of time. Be understanding, explain the process and explain the trust-level concept. Staff training of how to communicate the service check is essential. We have the necessary skillsets to train staff on how to handle these scenarios.

What happens if the product does not exist on the database or shows as not found?

Customers will still be allowed to place the item/s in the trolley and the store supervisor will be alerted. The customer will be stopped at the exit or can go to a supervisor station to resolve the issue.

What is the price of the solution?

This is determined per requirement, as the solution has several options.
How do I integrate this solution with my current in-store solutions?
The solution will require product and relevant information from your in-store systems. These data feeds can be done via various methods, including import of files and web service interaction. Completed sales will be sent back to the store systems and will be formatted to be the same as in-store systems.

What about goods that are not barcoded?

It is imperative that all products can be scanned and that it is very clearly explained to customers which barcode to scan. For items without a barcode, a special barcode can be placed on shelf. Ensure item scales are deployed in departments and at the checkout zone, and pay special attention to: • Weighed produce • Pallet product promotions • Items with security tags • Items on promotion or special discount • Multipacks

We can deliver the innovation to take you there.

You have a vision.

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