/ 29 december 2021

Advantages of self-checkouts

The adoption of self-checkouts by retailers across all sectors is continuing at an ever-increasing pace. They remain a great addition to the checkout zone of almost every retailer with numerous clear and, in many cases, quantifiable advantages to their name. Introducing self-checkouts can help to modernise and transform your checkout zone into one that appeals to all types and generations of customers. The continuing innovation of self-checkout technology presents an extensive range of options for retailers that are considering them. Standalone self-checkouts and hybrid self-checkouts that combine SCOs with a traditional checkout are the two most popular till choices for most retailers.

Self-checkouts can help retailers deliver an outstanding checkout experience that creates happy customers and engenders long-term customer loyalty. This makes them an attractive prospect for retailers that are looking to invest in new technology that delivers a strong return on investment for their shops/stores. In this article, we review the key advantages of self-checkouts and how you can make the most of them.


There is nothing more frustrating than being held up by a long queue at the checkout. For too many customers, this is often their experience of the checkout zone. While some customers may wait patiently for the queue to pass, a growing number of customers are not willing to wait. Research suggests that if the queues at the checkout are consistently long, 73% of customers will complete their shopping elsewhere. This can result in needlessly losing valuable customers while also damaging your brand's reputation.

By adopting self-checkouts, a slow and frustrating customer experience in the checkout zone can become a thing of the past. Self-checkouts effectively shorten queues and increase the customer flow through the checkout zone. Imagine your customers easily completing the checkout process free from the frustration of queuing; this is easily possible with the help of innovative self-checkouts.

Your checkout zone experience will be improved further by the user-friendly interface offered by each self-checkout, with clear LED indicator lights to direct customers to the available checkout and easy-to-use on-screen menus. Once a customer has found a free self-checkout, they will be able to quickly scan their shopping and complete the purchase with their preferred payment method. The self-checkouts accept contactless, card, NFC and cash payments to cater for every customer.


Retailers regularly face a number of increasing costs which put added pressure on their bottom line and profitability. Self-checkouts are a cost-effective solution that can reduce a retailer's operating costs and increase profitability in a number of ways. First, self-checkouts reduce the requirement for multiple checkout operators as one employee can manage several tills instead of having to operate a single traditional checkout. This can result in a significant human resource cost saving which can increase your overall profitability.

In addition to this, self-checkouts do not need to be manned during non-peak hours when there are significantly fewer customers, unlike traditional checkouts which are manned regardless of the number of customers in the shop. Employees of retailers with self-checkouts can make the most of this time to complete background tasks including receiving deliveries and restocking shelves. This can, in turn, reduce the requirement for costly overtime, thereby further reducing staffing costs.

Operating costs are reduced further by self-checkouts due to minimal maintenance requirements. All Pan Oston self-checkouts are component based, which allows items of hardware to be easily replaced or upgraded in an incredibly time and cost-efficient way. Individual hardware components can be repaired or upgraded without having to replace multiple hardware items. This saves retailers not only the cost of the hardware components but also the labour costs of the required engineers.


While the checkout zone is a valuable area within every retail shop/store as it is responsible for completing purchases and collecting payments, it can take up a significant proportion of your floor space. Floor space that is dedicated to the checkout zone cannot be used to showcase your products and services to customers. Traditional in-store checkouts are often bulky and occupy a significant amount of floor space due to their design and integrated conveyor belts.

What if there was a way to easily create additional retail space within your shop/store without having to incur the significant costs associated with extending your premises? Adopting self-checkouts makes this possible as they have a significantly smaller footprint than traditional in-store checkouts. With no conveyor belt or seating area for a checkout operator, significant space savings can be made.

Our SLIM SCOs and SLIM Express SCOs are the ideal solution for retailers that are looking to adopt standalone self-checkouts in their checkout zones. However, what about retailers that wish to retain a traditional belt checkout while also adopting SCOs? The SLIM Merge is the perfect hybrid solution for retailers that want the best of both worlds in their checkout zone. Each Merge combines a traditional check-out with a row of self-checkouts that can be managed by a single employee. Its footprint-friendly design also ensures that additional floor space is freed up and can be redeployed as retail space.


Retail employees undoubtedly have a difficult job role to fulfill. They are required to operate in-store checkouts and help customers while also completing a never-ending list of tasks required to run a shop/store including restocking shelves, preparing new displays, updating POS materials, and managing stock deliveries. In order to complete all of these tasks within their allocated time, retail employees need to maintain a high level of productivity and efficiency. Traditionally, a significant number of employees were preoccupied with operating in-store checkouts, taking them away from helping customers and completing the all-important background tasks that are required to keep the shop/store running.

By introducing self-checkouts, the number of employees working in the checkout zone can be reduced as self-checkouts replace many of the traditional checkouts. This frees up a number of employees to help customers and complete the background tasks, which in turn increases the productivity and efficiency of your retail employees.


Self-checkout technology is advancing at a great pace with new and innovative technologies becoming available on an ongoing basis. Not all self-checkouts provide retailers with the flexibility to adopt new technology without incurring significant upgrade costs. If you want to truly futureproof your business and be in a strong position to quickly adopt new technologies as they emerge so you can stay ahead of your competitors, you should choose modular-based self-checkouts.

Every Pan Oston self-checkout is modular-based. This gives you the freedom to quickly adopt new technologies in a hassle-free way and without incurring unnecessary upgrade costs or having to buy new self-checkouts. Choosing a Pan Oston self-checkout is an investment in the success of your business not only today but also tomorrow. You will have the freedom to adopt the latest self-checkout technology by adding a new modular component, which will place you ahead of your competitors and empower your business to delight its customers.


Our team of self-checkout specialists are ready to help your shop/store find the perfect self-checkout solution. We deliver innovative self-checkout solutions that are modular or fully customised to your requirements. Our self-checkouts provide the ultimate flexibility to retailers as they are software and hardware-independent, which gives you the freedom to choose the technology that best fits your shop/store and any existing retail systems that are in place. Every step of the process is proactively managed by our team of experienced specialists from the initial design to the final installation.

Our client base includes retailers of all sizes including M&S, SPAR and COOP. Pan Oston's team of over 165+ specialists with over 50 years of experience have in-house design, manufacturing and project management capabilities that are ready to help you adopt self-checkouts in your checkout zone. Choosing Pan Oston means that you will be working with an award-winning company that has won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award and is committed to delivering innovative solutions.

Why not find out how we can help your shop/store make the most of self-checkouts? Contact our UK sales team today to discuss your requirements with one of our specialists.

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