Nothing boosted digital channels and delivery mechanisms the way an innocent looking virus did. But because of this scourge, in the retail environment the customer experience evolved overnight from a feely-touchy, smell and feel, sociable, in-store adventure to a near contactless affair. While the 20-year olds are busy placing their orders online, some customers actually miss ‘going shopping.’ So, it is great to know that there is a way in which we can have the best of both worlds.
Innovation in the form of self-checkout jumps to the rescue. Although this technology has long been used in the UK and the USA, it has yet to find sufficient traction in SA. There has never been a better time than now. Self-checkout offers a host of advantages. You can check the boxes here:
- The first and most obvious reason is that no-one else gets to touch the shopping. Shoppers simply pick the items off the shelf, place it in the sterilised trolley, head for checkout and scan the items themselves. Then they have the option to pay with cash or a card, pack their bag and head for the door.
- Retailers can fit 4 – 6 self-service counters into the space normally reserved for 3 cashiers. This means just about no queueing. Nobody pushing and shoving and sneezing over a shoulder. Think of it as pay and be on your way!
- Customers can sometimes be taken aback by the cost of goods. The self-checkout systems available in Mzanzi keep a rolling tally of the cost of the items scanned. In this way they can keep track of their budget and choose to leave out non-essential items.
- Another benefit to retailers is that the entire checkout experience can be tailor-made and branded. There are multiple configurations which are adapted to fit into bespoke retail formats and existing systems.
- Intuitive, user-friendly interfaces ensure that shoppers who might not be all that tech savvy are not intimidated by the experience.
- It represents the ideal opportunity for cashiers to be upskilled and redeployed to other job types such as to field aisle questions. In situ guidance improves and speeds up the in-store experience which makes for greater customer satisfaction and repeat visits.
- The system makes provision for a supervisor or attendant to assist shoppers who are as yet unfamiliar with the drill and provide help in ‘Product not found’ instances.
- The good news for store owners is that SKU’s need not individually be pre-programmed. The system is self-learning and builds up a database of products and their weights as items get scanned.
- And for those who have been suspending their disbelief, the technology makes use of advanced, integrated security measures such as scales to weigh products and other measures. It also includes intervention indicators to help retailers manage and prevent shrinkage and loss. It also features psychological and physical theft deterrents as well as stock level monitors.
- Lastly, the system speaks your language. Sawubona umngani!
With store exits equipped with beacons and cameras, this kind of technology is clearly the only way forward post the coronavirus. Let’s say ‘mholo’ to a new dawn …
Increase safety, security and convenience for your store and your customers!
Altron Bytes Managed Solutions
1 Vlak Street, Selby Ext. 5, 2092, Gauteng,
PO Box 3591, Johannesburg, 2000,
Gauteng, South Africa
+27 (11) 373 4000