WARMINSTER, PA, May 25, 2023 –
The Rise of The Self-Checkout
Self-service checkouts have fast become an integral part of today’s retail environment. In fact, self-checkouts are now twice as common as they were pre-pandemic, and experts predict that this trend toward self-service POS systems will only continue to grow.
However, it is important to note that this shift towards self-service checkout systems is not entirely driven by the benefits and convenience of the self-checkout but by broader macroeconomic and business factors too.
Recent Retailer Challenges
In 2023, inflation and labor scarcity have cemented themselves as some of the biggest challenges to retailers.
In 2022, inflation rates in many Western markets grew to some of the highest levels recorded in recent years. With the cost of living continuing to rise, workers are no longer satisfied with minimum wage, and as a result, labor costs are also increasing, and retail workers are increasingly hard to find and retain.
As such, labor scarcity is also an ongoing problem for retailers. Staff shortages and high turnover of store employees are causing a chain reaction of problems that negatively impact the retail store’s bottom line. Without enough staff, retailers are seeing increased numbers of customers walking away from their purchases due to long point-of-sale lines and lower customer satisfaction with service. In some cases, stores are even being forced to close early.
What Are The Advantages of Self-Checkout?
In light of customer experience and these ongoing challenges, merchants of all types and sizes are increasingly turning their conventional POS systems to self-checkout machines due to the merit they can have with regards to customer experience and the bottom line.
Despite the high initial cost, self-service kiosks tend to pay for themselves quickly and can offer businesses immense cost savings vis-à-vis staff wages. For instance, while traditional checkouts require one employee per point-of-sale station, self-service machines do not. Likewise, the use of self-checkout systems eliminates the need to hire temporary workers for busy seasons or to reallocate existing staff to the self-service area during rush hours.
Maximize Space & Install More Self-Checkouts
Self-checkout kiosks have a smaller footprint compared to the traditional cashier lane. This allows more self-service systems to be installed in a given area. As such, some merchants choose to make use of the valuable, extra space created by removing traditional checkouts to create more self-service kiosks to help ensure shorter lines.
Checkout More Customers In A Given Time
With the ability to fit more into a given store space, businesses can cater to higher demand by checking out more customers than they would be able to with traditional checkouts. Plus, the advantages of this likely stack up for those with multiple stores and locations. In addition, with this approach, retailers can reduce wait times significantly, as a user-friendly self-checkout POS system tends to be faster than waiting for a cashier to scan, look-up, and bag a customer’s items. Research has even shown that up to 41% of consumers will abandon their shopping if faced with long wait times so it is no surprise that customers have a growing preference towards self-checkout.
Use Space-Savings for Other Purposes
As stated, self-service kiosks are a great space-saving solution for stores. While some may use the extra space for more self-checkout machines, some opt to use the real estate for purposes. For example, the space may be used for advertising, special displays or for more stock. Each of these options can help towards higher revenue.
Redeploy Staff for Other Value-Adding Activities
We already know that self-checkout kiosk systems typically require fewer staff, with one employee able to oversee multiple self-ordering kiosks simultaneously. As such, this allows retailers to redeploy staff elsewhere in the retail store. Staff can be used for other value-adding tasks throughout the store, such as inventory management, tidying/shelf appearance, and customer service. With staff enabled to focus on these other tasks, customers are likely to have a better shopping experience whether through fully stocked shelves or through employees being available for questions.
Improved Customer Service
There are a number of ways that the self-service kiosk can improve customer service. As was just noted, a more extensive self-checkout area means that more staff can be made available throughout the store to help customers with any queries they may have. Meanwhile, at the self-checkout area itself, research has found that customers often feel checking out themselves is more efficient than waiting in line. Plus, research has found that with customers operating the kiosk themselves, order accuracy is improved, which will in turn also help to enhance customer experience. Furthermore, the self-checkout is said to be a more reliable way to serve customers and ensure checkout lines are kept to a reasonable length and that the time spent waiting is kept to a minimum.
Respond to Consumer Preferences
Self-checkout systems allow retailers to meet modern consumer expectations and preferences. Nowadays, research shows that more than half of consumers prefer self-checkouts, while many customers even expect to see a self-service kiosk option as standard when shopping in retail stores.
In fact, a 2019 customer satisfaction study by SOTI revealed 73% of participants prefer self-checkout systems. Self-check kiosks offer customers a speedy shopping and checkout experience with minimum human interaction. With self-checkout systems, customers can even multitask by listening to music or a podcast while making their purchases.
Encourage Customers to Spend More
Research has shown that self-checkout systems can actually help businesses to make more money. Studies have shown that a self-ordering kiosk can, on average, result in orders 15-20% higher than orders placed at a traditional checkout counter. A self-ordering kiosk can be used to feature enticing images and to present tailored and automated cross-sell or upsell options for the customer. In all, a self-service kiosk can be a great way to reinforce brand messaging in a subtle, yet effective, way.
Cater to Multilingual Communities
Additionally, if your self-checkout machine allows the user to switch between multiple languages, this easily accommodates customers from multilingual communities to check out with ease. Individuals can follow the instructions on the screen to scan items and checkout instead of struggling to communicate with a cashier.
Take Advantage of Other Self-Service Kiosk Opportunities
The self-service kiosk can be used for a range of other self-service use cases besides sales. For example: customer information kiosks, order entry, visitor check-in, endless aisle, and more. In many ways, a self-service kiosk can help to take your business to the next level.
So, Why Self-Checkout?
As this blog post has discussed, moving towards self-service POS systems can provide many benefits to business operations, not only to retailers seeking to mitigate the impacts of inflation and labor scarcity but also to their employees who are likely feeling the pressure from what has been dubbed ‘the great resignation’ within retail.
Havis Self-Service Kiosks
As an industry leader in technology mounting and mobility solutions, Havis is uniquely placed to help retailers expand their service offerings and improve how they do business with innovative self-service options.
Havis offers a wide range of solutions that enable businesses to revamp their operations and empower customers through a complete and diverse selection of self-checkout kiosks. Havis can help create a comprehensive and seamless self-checkout solution for your business, from sleek, minimalistic podiums to complete, fully customizable solutions. By simplifying the shopping experience, Havis excels as a top player in providing off-the-shelf and personalized solutions, boasting an extensive portfolio of advanced kiosk options.
SC-1000 from Havis
For example, Havis’s recently launched SC-1000, a family of universal self-checkout and self-service kiosk solutions that allow retailers to bring their own technology. Merchants can maximize the use of existing POS devices and cater to demand from customers with the option to convert from a self-checkout to an associate POS station. Available in Countertop or Pedestal/Floor configurations, SC-1000 products provide versatile, future-proof self-service kiosk solutions which are simple and elegant.
To learn more about how Havis’s self-service solutions can help your business achieve success and boost sales, click here.
Havis, Inc. is a privately held, ISO 9001-certified company that is the leader in providing robust and reliable end-to-end technology mounting and mobility solutions in demanding environments. The Havis legacy dates back over 80 years as a trusted designer and manufacturer of critical equipment that ensures critical technology is accessible, secure and reliable.
Havis’s engineering and manufacturing teams are committed to consistently researching and developing unique products and solutions for a range of industries worldwide. With headquarters in Warminster, PA, and additional locations in Plymouth, MI, Burnsville, MN, and in the UK, Havis currently employs more than 400 team members. For more information on Havis, please call 1.800.524.9900 or visit http://www.havis.com.