Even though self-service solutions in the retail industry are a concept that has become increasingly popular in recent years, it is not as new as many may believe. The first time we became acquainted with a self-service solution was in 1888 when Thomas Adams built the world's first vending machine that sold chewing gum. The customer tossed coins in a coin opening, pushed two handles down in front of the device, and then the chewing gum fell on a shelf in front of the customer.
Over time, the classic type of self-service solution has evolved a lot. High-tech terminals with built-in scanners, touch screens with Internet access, and complex mobile applications. have replaced the 19th centuries' mechanical machines. You will primarily experience three types of self-service solutions in the retail industry today: the self-scanning station, the touch screen kiosk, and mobile scan-and-go.
You will find the self-scanning solution in grocery stores such as Føtex or DIY stores such as BAUHAUS. At the self-scanning station, your customer can scan their goods and pay for them at the terminal – all by themself. In addition to a scanner for items with a bar code, there will also be an electronic product catalog at the self-scanning station, where you can enter items without a bar code, e.g., fruit.
You can experience this kind of self-service solution, especially at fast-food restaurants - for example, at burger chains like McDonald's and Carls Jr. The customer is presented with a touch screen with the restaurant's selection, and can browse through it, place an order and finally pay directly on the machine.
In collaboration with the burger chain Carls Jr., Fiftytwo has developed a self-service concept that enables customers at a Diebold Niexdorf self-service kiosk to order their food. Via support for Modifiers, variants, and extended specification options, customers can easily navigate the menu system, read detailed information about burgers, add or remove pickles, cheese, bacon, etc. sides and drinks such as variants of the menu. The menu setup on the kiosk and item design is done efficiently and intuitively on our newly developed WebUI user interface, which runs in a browser and can be run on PCs, smartphones, and tablets. All product information, images, prices, etc. are displayed and maintained in the solution's WebUI, and all data is integrated into the POS solution.
This business logic and functionality can be used in a wide range of other industries in addition to quick-service restaurants. It can be anything from bakeries and cafes to clothing stores, hardware stores, DIY stores, etc., where you shop for specific colors, sizes, and options/opt-outs, or where you want to use product images and CMS control, e.g., a product catalog in a state-of-the-art POS UI - as a self-service or traditional output box.
Mobile scan-and-go is offered by fx Netto and Fakta, which has developed the applications "Scan & Go" and "Bip og betal". With the phone application, customers can walk around the store and scan the items they want to buy with their mobile phones. Once all the items have been scanned, the customer can also pay with his mobile phone.
Self-service solutions play an essential role in ensuring customer satisfaction. They let your customers control their purchasing process while relieving your sales staff so that their workforce can be used for other purposes - such as helping customers out in the store. Implementing self-service solutions is very beneficial, but which benefits are there more specifically? We have gathered an overview here:
Self-service solutions can reduce the long queues that sometimes arise with a traditional checkout. Most customers choose the self-service solution in stores that offer both self-service checkouts and cashier-staffed checkouts precisely because the line usually moves faster or does not occur at all. A study by Capgemini shows that long queues at the checkout, for the largest number of respondents (60 percent), are a cause of irritation. That is to a greater extent than sold-out items and lack of help from sales staff.
If you have a restaurant, a self-service solution will mean that your customers can get their food faster because the order is delivered directly to the kitchen once your customer has entered in on the machine. In a Tillster survey, 65 percent of respondents said they would visit a restaurant more often if possible, to order and pay via self-service.
Customers prefer self-service solutions because they do not have to worry about interacting with sales staff. This is especially relevant today because we are in the middle of a very contagious pandemic, and social interaction should be minimized. With a self-service solution, you make sure that your customers feel extra safe when shopping in your store or visiting your restaurant.
Implementing a self-service solution will release human resources for other purposes, which can help optimize the customer experience in your store. Instead of being "locked up" in the checkout, your sales staff can spend time helping customers in the store and generally take care of other tasks - for example, picking up items from the warehouse or making sure that the store looks nice.
You might think that a self-service solution will reduce the chances of creating additional sales because your sales staff will not offer "an additional coffee for a dollar extra". However, it turns out it is the other way around. When your customers do not have this one-on-one interaction with a salesperson, they feel comfortable ordering more. This benefit will, of course, primarily be expressed if you run a restaurant or café. Appetize has examined self-service solutions versus cashier-staffed checkouts in restaurants and found that the self-service solutions created an increase in order size of, on average, 21 percent. Our experience with self-service solutions in restaurants also supports this result.
Also, with self-service solutions, it is possible to present the customer with alternatives to their purchase. For example, suppose your customer has typed in a small coffee on the screen. In that case, the solution can automatically suggest the customer upgrade to a large coffee or buy a scone in addition to the coffee. These suggestions can be presented with beautiful and appealing pictures of the products.
More and more people have become aware of the value that self-service solutions can contribute, and the popularity of self-service solutions has grown rapidly. Studies show that in 2019, 123,000 self-checkout terminals were delivered to retailers worldwide. In comparison, 27,000 self-checkout terminals were provided in 2012. This means that the number of self-checkout terminals provided has increased by 355 percent in seven years, and it is certainly expected that this development will continue.
There is no need to wait to bring self-service solutions to your stores. They can make a positive difference for both your customers, your staff, and your bottom line. At the same time, they make sure you keep up with the development in the market.
We have several customers who work with self-service solutions in different guises, from self-checkout on an app or a kiosk solution as Carls Jr., to self-scanning in Bauhaus and self-scanning in Netto plus. Several of our customers want highly tailored flows for these self-service solutions. In these processes, we work with agile development and external UX designers to achieve precisely the result the customer wants.
Are you thinking of implementing self-service solutions in your business? Do not hesitate to reach out to our expert Peter Møller and hear more about how Fiftytwo can help you.
Contact Peter Møller
Director, Sales & Marketing
+45 25 50 56 31 | email@example.com
Fiftytwo is a part of Bording Group.
Bording Group has over 400 employees, in 7 companies across the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian markets. We are all involved in marketing, technology and consulting in partnership with our customers.
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