Editor’s Note: This post has been updated following NRF 2022 and reflects the latest trends in cashierless technology during the current labor shortage.
For the second year in a row at NRF, cashierless technology continues to be one of the most talked-about technologies for retailers, grocers, and c-stores. However, unlike NRF 2021 where the most popular tech trends centered around meeting consumer expectations, this year cashierless technology is also playing a part in helping retailers offset continued labor shortages. By automating the checkout experience with self-service kiosks, for example, retailers can offer cashierless checkout to provide fast, safe, and convenient checkout options that today’s consumers demand. But will this technology last? We think so, and here’s why:
Cashierless technology such as kiosks benefit larger and smaller-format stores
In larger-format stores with too much space for adequate camera coverage and quickly changing planograms, cashierless non-scanning/walkout solutions present a number of security challenges and are not easy to implement. Costs are also prohibitive, especially for smaller format stores such as pop-ups and convenience stores.
When coupled with a variety of mounting options and integrated scanning capabilities, Kiosks such as Aila’s Self-Checkout Kiosk provide several benefits to both larger and smaller format stores over costly non-scanning/walkout alternatives.
- Enabling a variety of touchless experiences across your store including cashierless checkout, self-service returns and price checking
- Enterprise-grade scanning that captures all major 1D/2D barcodes, IDs, OCR and more
- Familiarity with technology that consumers already know how to use
- A wide selection of mounting options to fit any space with a minimum footprint
- Easy to relocate or be reused in another location or store
- Helps offset low-level tasks for limited staff
Cashierless checkout kiosks reduce lines and enable touchless experiences
Several studies like this one point out how the majority of consumers prefer self-service technologies like Aila’s interactive kiosk over engaging with a store associate. Also noted is how self-service kiosks are proven to reduce lines and save time. Well-established checkout kiosks also work with traditional checkout systems providing customers with the option to checkout with cash or with the help of a cashier. The combination of self-service kiosks and traditional point of sale systems quickly gives customers more choice and convenience while reducing long checkout lines. What’s more, self-service kiosks can easily be configured to follow social distancing guidelines.
Enable touchless experiences
Retailers across the globe are adjusting to the circumstances created by the pandemic by looking for ways to implement touchless workflows across the customer buying process within their stores. That’s where scanning comes in. A simple yet effective approach, customers can simply scan items to check prices, conduct returns, or check themselves out at the same kiosk. With SoftScan for example, customers can also scan their mobile phones, membership cards and IDs for additional touchless workflows like personalized product offers, membership sign up, deli ordering, pharmacy buy-online-pickup-in-store, and more.
Can offset labor shortages
Beyond cashierless checkout, self-service kiosks also automate a range of tasks and empower customers to serve themselves with similar experiences of online shopping but in-store. Customers simply approach the kiosk to complete their transactions, typically in seconds, without staff assistance. Retailers can then deploy their staff and the self-service kiosks in strategic areas throughout the store to help where it’s needed most, giving customers the best chance of engaging with an associate or checking out with cashless payments. Self-service work alongside existing staff by automating many of the rote processes that take up valuable associate time, while freeing up staff to focus on higher-value services.
Cashierless checkout is moving into the mainstream
Over the past couple of years, Amazon has largely been the main player in piloting cashierless experience across their brick and mortar grocery stores. However, as more consumers opt for alternative payment methods to cash in a time when reducing lines and providing safe experiences are also top of mind, more retailers and grocers are taking a hard look at cashierless technology such as kiosks for their own stores. In fact, according to Forrester’s Analytics Consumer Technographics COVID-19 Survey, 57% of US online adults who tried using digital or contactless payments for the first time during COVID-19 expect to continue using them even once the pandemic is over.
Learn more about Aila’s Interactive Kiosk or contact a member of our team to learn more.
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