Self checkout machines are an acquired taste.
47% of us actively avoid them (at almost any cost)
73% of us have dumped our basket whilst waiting to use one
87% of us feel it’s a hassle to unpack a full basket and scan everything in one go
Putting it simply, SCOs are regularly used by less than half of us and three quarters of us have a bit of a problem with them – whether it be reliability, dealing with weighted or restricted items or those pesky unexpected items in the bagging area (whatever they may be?). Oh and there’s another key problem – for the most part, they don’t inform you that offers have been taken into account until you proceed to payment – so that’s another reason why a huge percentage of us give up before concluding the transaction. We don’t trust them.
There’s been huge investment in Self Checkout machines over the last 20 years and many retailers are just installing them for the first time now. They are typically sold at between £10k and £40k a piece, which is great business for the manufacturers, and that’s not including the ongoing maintenance costs.
However, these machines can still have a significant place in the market, particularly if they’re used in conjunction with the Ubamarket app. Here’s the rationale behind it.
Firstly, whereas we don’t always trust third party hardware, we do trust our phones because they’re our window to the world, we can control our entire lives from them and they’re basically an extension of our arms. We’re lost without them (literally!).
However, although the app is capable of it, pure in-aisle payment is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not yet anyway. Many retailers, quite understandably, would prefer to ‘channel’ shoppers out of their stores via a set-route. Secondly, shoppers may feel more comfortable (and less conspicuous) if they ‘checkout’ at an official ‘pod’, even with a simple tap of their phone. Thirdly, it enables retailers to authorize certain restricted products (if they don’t want to allow this in-app) and even utilize our additional security features for ultimate safety and convenience.
We’ve had several instances of retailers saying they weren’t interested in Self Checkout. Until now. With Ubamarket as the ‘hook’, they’re keen to install SCOs with the sole purpose of working in conjunction with the app, to offer app shoppers a ‘three second’ checkout experience via a specific exit route.
This is therefore set to be a brilliant solution for a number of problems:
- Scanning takes place as you move around the shop (resulting in 21% bigger baskets) and eradicating ‘dumped’ baskets.
- Shoppers see a running total (meaning they statistically add another couple of items)
- Shoppers get in-vision allergy and recyclable plastic alerts
- Shoppers can add personalized offers as they shop, with one tap
- Shoppers have already scanned traditional ‘loose items’ so there’s no hassle at checkout
- Weighted items are either pre-weighed (where applicable) or can be added seamlessly at the SCO with one tap.
- Shoppers can approach a self checkout machine and tap the app to pay without re-scanning or queuing
- Security and spot checks are simple and effective. Shrinkage is greatly reduced
As well as being far more efficient, cost effective and lucrative for the retailer it’s also a far better, faster, easier end-to-end experience for customers and altogether more hygienic too! Of course, it’s widely known that it’s easy to con an SCO machine and this results in significant shrinkage (claiming bacon is an onion for example!). This is something that our new ‘Loose Product’ feature completely eradicates!
And finally, even spot checks with Self Checkout machines in their current format is difficult and time consuming. What if the shopper hasn’t chosen to take their receipt? Even if they have, how fiddly and difficult is it to check on a tiny scrap of till-roll with faded ink? On the app screen it’s big, bright, bold and compulsory – so, as it happens, it’s largely self-regulating.
Ubamarket makes self checkout more useful, more desirable, more efficient and fit for purpose in 2019 and beyond! And it keeps the tills ringing for manufacturers and POS companies alike.
Will Broome January 2019