/ Innovations in check-out technology

5 Tech Solutions That Will Change Checking Out

Technology is ever-changing, especially so when it comes to self-service and self-checkout solutions. Every new tech innovation aims to enhance the checkout experience and provide further opportunities to delight customers. 2023 has seen the introduction of many new tech solutions, including - most notably - artificial intelligence (AI). AI is set to transform many areas of business, not least the checkout process, which can harness smart tech to streamline it and introduce greater levels of efficiency.

Whether you have recently introduced self-checkouts or are considering them for the year ahead, it is essential to discover which tech solutions are primed to make an impact. It will allow you to adopt a new self-checkout solution with confidence or upgrade your existing self-checkouts to a solution that can evolve to suit your changing checkout needs and support the adoption of new tech solutions. In this article, we explore five prominent tech solutions that are set to change checking out and improve the checkout experience for customers.

The Drive Towards Frictionless Checkout

Many of the tech solutions that are set to change checking out are in some way linked to the drive towards frictionless checkout. At a time when economic conditions are challenging and household budgets are pressed, customers have never been more likely to shop around and switch between retailers to secure the lowest possible prices. A successful sale is not guaranteed even when a customer has chosen their products and is heading towards the checkout zone. If their checkout experience is slow and frustrating, they may not complete their purchase and will instead turn to a competitor that does provide a great checkout experience. Shoppers may also avoid stores they know will be busy with long queues at the checkout. Again, this can lead to stores losing footfall and sales.

Delivering a frictionless checkout experience is the focus of the vast majority of new tech solutions. The final stage of a customer’s shopping experience must be positive and complement the rest of their in-store experience. This will help to win their loyalty and encourage their return for future shopping trips. Tech solutions that help make frictionless checkout a reality are a focus for many retailers vying to get ahead of their competitors.

5 Tech Solutions For Checking Out

Adopting new technology is an established and proven way of enhancing your customer experience. This is undoubtedly the case when it comes to checking out, as tech will always play a key role in driving improvements and supporting the achievement of frictionless checkout.

We share the top five tech solutions that will change checking out and bring a frictionless checkout experience to your checkout zone.

Computer Vision

Computer Vision is a significant AI-powered innovation that introduces significant benefits to self-checkouts, even in its current form. It uses top-mounted cameras in conjunction with AI anti-theft software to detect instances of theft at the checkout in real time. This is a valuable additional tool for retailers facing ever-increasing shrinkage and theft throughout their shops/stores. Adopting computer vision takes in-store security to the next level and counters the risk of theft at self-checkouts. Many forward-thinking retailers have already adopted Computer Vision tech solutions and have experienced their positive impact on shrinkage.

Computer Vision technology continues to improve, increasing its effectiveness as an anti-theft solution. As it is powered by the cloud, remote updates and convenient servicing are a breeze. This makes it both convenient and cost-effective for retailers. Adopting it as an additional line of defence against theft will empower retailers to tackle loss and safeguard their bottom line. At a time when theft is a widespread and persistent issue, Computer Vision’s application as an anti-theft solution is likely to increase.

The power of Computer Vision does not end at anti-theft solutions; it has real potential to transform how customers interact with self-checkouts. It can introduce digital capabilities to the in-store environment. Some versions of Computer Vision can even track when customers place an item into their basket/trolley and update the shopping total in real time. The possibilities of Computer Vision are particularly exciting, and it is likely to play a leading role in future innovations.

Our SLIM Balance self-checkout is an innovative solution with standout features, including Bi-optical scanners for high-performance scanning and AI-powered theft prevention. Discover its sleek design and modular nature, which offers a world of possibilities.

Robotic Automated Environments

Robotic Automated Environments are an interesting and exciting innovation set to change the shopping experience significantly. When Robotic Automated Environments are in place, customers can select products at a self-ordering kiosk, pay for their chosen items and wait while a robot processes their order automatically behind the scenes using AI and machine learning (ML) technology. The AI and ML tech are able to guide the robot towards selecting the correct items that are ready for the customer.

Once the order has been selected, the robot places it onto a conveyor belt that transports the order into the public-facing area of the shop/store to a collection point. Robotic Automated Environments are particularly unique in that they create a checkout process with no element of human interaction. This technology is most likely to be adopted for applications that require privacy and fast order processing.

Virtual Reality (VR) Self-Checkouts

Virtual Reality (VR) self-checkouts have the potential to transform the way self-checkouts are adopted and updated across shops/stores. VR self-checkouts are perfect for planning self-checkout zones and undertaking customer research to see how customers interact with them before they are developed. The VR tech uses eye-tracking technology within shop/store VR simulations to record and even predict likely customer behaviour. It is possible to create innovative front-end configurations with different self-checkout models, user interfaces and checkout zone designs.

VR self-checkouts are ideal for initial user testing and are a cost-effective way to test different checkout zones and plan self-checkout solutions. Many VR simulations also allow customers to complete the self-checkout process just as they would at a real-life self-checkout. This alone can provide invaluable insights into how they navigate the checkout process and interact with the various elements of a self-checkout. Insights gained from this can inform the future development of the self-checkout solution and result in a higher quality solution.

Experiencing the checkout process in an immersive 3D simulation also creates eye-tracking heat maps that highlight the hotspots on a self-checkout. Knowing where these hotspots are helps to inform their design so it can support the frictionless self-checkout that every retailer aims for.

Biometric Checkout

Biometric technology has been used extensively for security across a wide range of different applications. Biometric tech is now being introduced at the self-checkout as a security measure for digital payments. In-store fraud is a persistent issue that many retailers have to manage, and biometric tech could make a significant difference. Authenticating payments at a self-checkout with fingerprint or facial recognition can significantly reduce instances of fraud.

Many large retailers have tested/trialled this technology as it also enhances the shopping experience. When biometric payment technology is available, there is less need for other more time-intensive authentication measures such as manual chip and pin entry or two-factor authentication. Leading card payment brands, including Mastercard, are experimenting with biometric payments, so there could be biometric technology at your self-checkouts soon.

Scale Security

Scale security tech is advancing the capability of retailers to reduce operational errors that have the potential to impact the bottom line. Scale security is a powerful enhanced security feature that is easily integrated into self-checkout and self-scanning solutions. Its intelligent scales effortlessly weigh your customers’ shopping and can determine if any unscanned items are present. Once it has found unscanned items, a helpful prompt is given to the customer to advise them to scan an item. The technology can also deter customers who deliberately seek to mis-scan their shopping.

Intelligent scales can also be paired with LED lights, communicating self-checkout issues to checkout assistants/hosts in real time. This helps them identify which self-checkouts require their assistance while highlighting instances where theft may be attempted. It is possible to set a range of light colours and patterns to distinguish between issues and take action to resolve them easily.

We Can Help You Successfully Adopt New Self-Checkout Technology

Our specialists have been helping retailers successfully adopt new self-checkout technology for many years. Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Pan Oston, and adopting new technology is a daily focus of our team of over 175 specialists. We help retailers make the most of new tech solutions and stay ahead of their competitors by bringing the very latest technology into their checkout zone.

Many of our self-checkout solutions are award-winning and incorporate AI technology. Technologies, including AI-powered Computer Vision and Scale Security, are already a feature in many of our product families, including our Red Dot Design award-winning SLIM Balance self-checkout.

By partnering with Pan Oston, you can benefit from our many years of retail experience and our track record for helping national and international retailers. We have delivered innovative self-checkouts that feature the latest tech solutions for retailers, including SPAR, Tegut TEO, Albert Heijn, Hema, and Co-Op, to name but a few. Explore our latest case studies to see how we can help you.

Contact Our Self-Checkout Specialists

Our self-checkout specialists are ready to help you successfully adopt the very latest tech solutions. Why not discuss your self-checkout requirements with us and find out how we can help you transform your shops/stores?

Contact us to arrange a free consultation with one of our specialists.

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