Although self-checkout was supposed to give consumers more choice and a better shopping experience, that never really happened and retailers are looking for something new, according to a new post on softwareadvice.com.
While retailers aren’t ready yet, they’re looking to radio frequency identification and mobile POS technology on smartphones as the next step.
Doug Stephens of Retail Prophet Consulting predicted that two new checkout models are coming — one is self-scanning by consumers while the other is the “Apple model,” which allows
shoppers to checkout with any employee.
To implement this model, retailers need to do three things:
- Educate employees so they can process sales and help customers.
- Give staff smartphones or tablets so they can lookup prices, inventory queries and complete sales.
- Give employees traditional or RFID tags to put on items that have been purchased so traditional checkout lanes can be eliminated.
Near-field communication (NFC) technology could also revolutionize sales. Products could be tracked in real-time and retailers could directly market to consumers based on what’s in their cart with promos such as:
“You’ve just purchased three apples. Would you like to purchase two more for the price of one?”
Consumers could pay for their items using their smartphones as electronic wallets while RFID tags could alert security systems if any products weren’t paid for. And the best part? It’s pretty seamless from the customer’s perspective.
“Unlike most checkout experiences in stores — people love using their phones. There’s no real learning curve. There’s no need to present an additional incentive,” said Joseph Tarnowski, technology editor at Progressive Grocer.
Source: Software Advice, August 2011