Self-service checkouts. The next step in digital transformation of retail industry

Digital signage solutions become a critical part of digital transformation of retail industry, because they create new shopping experiences that add value for customers and business owners. Self-service kiosks in particular provide such experiences. The popularity of these solutions is constantly growing. M4B President Jarosław Leśniewski explained why it is worth to invest in them, during his speech at the Retail & FMCG Congress Poland on October 12 this year in Warsaw.

Jarosław Leśniewski knows digital signage market very well. After all, the company he founded is one of key players in the European digital signage market. Installations by M4B can be found in over 3,000 locations throughout Europe. They include over 10 000 screens and 1 500 self-service kiosks. M4B has fully completed digital signage projects in KFC and Burger King restaurants, as well as in the Sephora perfumery chain.

According to Leśniewski there are three main benefits of using self-service checkouts. The first benefit is customer satisfaction. According to a study by SOTI, 66% of customers prefer self-service to interacting with a store employee, because it takes less time and allows you to avoid queuing, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second benefit is more effective use of commercial space. In place of one traditional cash register system, even 5 or 6 self-service kiosks can be used. The third benefit is more effective use of staff. One employee can oversee 6 or even more self-service stations and assist customers if they need it.

FMCG congress 2019

The president of M4B says, there are some barriers to the implementation of self-service checkouts, but it will be relatively easy to overcome them. When it comes to solutions provided by suppliers from the USA, Japan or Western Europe, the barrier may be high initial costs of implementation. But why not use Polish solutions? M4B is a Polish company that creates solutions based on their original projects. They can be widely used according to motto ‘Self-Checkouts in every store”. They make possible to fully personalize the product at low costs. In addition, the costs of integration with the POS IT system are low, because thanks to cooperation with partners, M4B solutions offer simple plug & play with majority of the software available on the Polish market.

Next worry may be hardware problems. Such problems are rarely encountered with M4B products.  Statistics show a marginal failure rate in case of M4B self-service checkouts. This is due to high manufacturing and service standards. Only industrial and passively cooled components are used in production. Digital signage casing is well designed to maintain the ease and speed of operation and servicing.

The implementation of self-service checkouts may be hampered by human causes: the dishonesty of some customers and the reluctance to accept new technology. According to the president of M4B, these barriers will also be overcome. Dishonest customers are a real problem. One study found that on average, retail owners lost 4% of the total value of goods due to customer thefts. This is more than retailers’ average margins.

The solution to this problem may be the use of checkweighers in self-service checkouts and technology based on AI algorithms. AI is particularly helpful in theft prevention. In the near future there will be solutions that will enable product scanning, recognition and counting, as well as recognizing suspicious behaviour (e.g. omission of product scanning, hiding the product in the pocket). When it comes to Polish consumers’ attitude towards new technology, it must be said that Polish consumers adapt to modern solutions very well. A good evidence of it is popularity of cashless payments in Poland. A new generation of consumers is emerging, for whom interaction with the seller is of secondary importance. In addition, self-checkout is still one of the options.

No doubt self-service is a trend that will strengthen in the retail sector. It is worth to implement self-service checkouts with the help of an expert to ensure customer satisfaction and good profit.

 

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