The developments of the last few years, keyword pandemic, shop closures, increased online trade, lack of manpower etc., have triggered many changes in stationary retail and accelerated some existing developments. One of these trends is definitely the growing use of self-checkouts.
The possibility to pay contactless while shopping without queuing at the checkout increases the attractiveness of a shop for many consumers. Retailers also benefit from this by being able to deploy their staff more on the sales floor to advise and look after customers. A fact that should not be underestimated: a friendly contact with a staff member supports a positive shopping experience for the customer and encourages them to return. In addition, it helps the retailer to work with fewer staff than desired - keyword shortage of skilled workers.
Taking this one step further, SCO checkouts are also perfect for autonomous shops - i.e. those shop concepts that, thanks to innovative technology, manage entirely without staff support and are open around the clock.
The current study by the EHI - Retail Institute Cologne "POS Systems 2022 - Evolution of Checkout" , clearly shows that the use of self-checkout systems is increasing.
"The progressive development towards an increased use of self-checkouts, apart from all the benefits, also poses new risks for retailers in the form of scan fraud," says Ralph Siegfried, Key Account Manager End Customers at Axis Communications. "At this year's EuroShop in Düsseldorf, the self-checkout from Pan Oston presented on our stand in combination with the video-based AI solution from Checklens generated a lot of interest."
The jointly presented self-checkout system combines the best solutions and products from the three manufacturers Axis Communications, Pan Oston & Checklens to create a sophisticated self-checkout system that is not only uncomplicated to operate, but also has aesthetics and the avoidance of scanning errors in mind.
Dutch company Pan Oston designs, manufactures, installs and maintains user-friendly checkout systems and self-service kiosk solutions for the European B2B market. Many retailers have precise ideas about how the checkout area should look - after all, a fortune is often spent on a well thought-out, chic shop concept.
"We fully cater to the needs and requirements of our customers here and thus deliver tailor-made designs. It is no coincidence that we were awarded the Red Dot Design Award in 2018 and again in 2023. Important points here are not just appearance, but also the best possible ergonomics, practicality and functionality," says Michael Gale, Pan Oston's head of marketing, explaining the secret of the company's success.
The checkout is combined with a network camera from Axis Communications (AXIS P1245 Network Camera), a small but powerful camera that blends harmoniously into the design of the checkout and can be easily installed behind transparent glass or plastic.
No compromises have to be made in the technical area either, on the contrary. This small pinhole camera also handles scenes with large differences in brightness very well thanks to its high resolution and wide field of view. Even reflections that often occur in the checkout area, such as those from mirrors, surfaces or windows, hardly have any effect. This means that any product can be detected without problems, regardless of the lighting conditions. For privacy protection, AXIS Live Privacy Shield ensures that only the products themselves are detected and the person behind scanning is pixelated - in accordance with data protection.
To avoid loss in the long run, you need optimal results for the video analysis software, for which high image quality is especially important. This is where Checkscan from Checklens comes into play. The artificial intelligence behind the software recognises every product and uncovers all kinds of scanning errors. Be it that a customer has forgotten to scan a product or has kept the barcode covered, has pressed the product against him, etc..
In doing so, the scanning of the goods is fast, effective and straightforward: "The Axis camera tracks each product while the AI matches the scanned products with the visual recognition. If this does not match, the buyer is notified. The buyer can then correct the process and end the transaction. In addition to loss prevention, critical stress situations for shoppers and store employees can be reduced. The Checklens solution fully complies with European data protection guidelines," explains Konstantin Heiller, CEO of Checklens.
This not only improves the shopping experience for customers, but also the inventory accuracy for retailers. The highlight: the AI recognises the products no matter where they are in the checkout area - on the checkout counter itself, in the shopping trolley or in the customer's hand.
Retailers will continue to be challenged to evolve in order to offer customers the best possible shopping experience. Self-checkouts are becoming increasingly important here - and rightly so, as they improve customer satisfaction and help with the challenge of the shortage of skilled workers. The trend of self-checkouts is unstoppable and the choice is ever increasing.
Why not benefit from the advantages of three strong partners - Axis Communications, Pan Oston, Checklens - to have an innovative and mature solution? With this well thought-out SCO checkout solution, Herrmann Tietz's well-known commercial saying "Quality is when the customers come back and not the goods" could be smoothly supplemented with: "- the unpaid goods, however, do."
Author: Ralph Siegfried, Key Account Manager End Customers, Axis Communications
 Source: EHI study "POS systems 2022 - Evolution of the checkout" (2022).
 Source: EHI study on self-checkout and self-scanning in retail "Kundschaft an der Kasse - EHI Retail Institute" (2021).