How and when to forge boldly ahead with an autonomous checkout solution?

Consumer expectations around reduced friction at checkout, not waiting in long lines and burgeoning labor shortages have made self-checkout solutions more imperative than ever before.

Patrick Raycroft, Partner at W. Capra Consulting Group, shared, “Self-checkout technology is progressing very quickly, and real-world deployments of autonomous checkout solutions are beginning to change consumer expectations. In fact, this has been a much quicker shift than expected, aided in large part from how the COVID-19 pandemic drove consumers to expect minimal touches and interactions during their shopping experiences. Additionally, self-checkout was once thought to be something that would infringe on the number of jobs available. However, as labor shortages abound, it is increasingly more important to allocate store labor to value-add tasks such as store maintenance, customer engagement, safety tasks, and more that need to be completed to successfully run a consumer facing retail business.”

Selecting a solution

When selecting a self-checkout solution, weighing the pros and cons of cost, path to implement, fit within your store and digital strategy are all fundamental.

Kevin Struthers, Associate Director of Digital at W. Capra, added, “From a strategic perspective, committing to testing and learning as soon as possible is more critical than spending countless cycles trying to select the ‘right’ solution.  Even if you switch the technology provider you select initially once a pilot ends, you will still reap immediate benefits from putting in the back end and operational processes needed to support automated self-checkout. Going down the path to add self-checkout solutions is not cheap, but it’s a vital commitment to an area that will become required to compete in the near future.”

Alright, I selected a technology provider, now what?

You can’t solidify a technology provider decision without also understanding the corresponding implementation considerations. Raycroft urged, “Your site infrastructure, software and data integrations related to having multiple point-of-sale devices (POS), operational updates at both head office and at the store level, as well as training for associates and consumers, are all key undertakings that cannot be completed without the experience of a prior self-checkout implementation.”

Working with W. Capra and taking advantage of our experience implementing self-checkout solutions in myriad retail verticals is key. W. Capra’s knowledge of breakthroughs and innovations occurring in autonomous self-checkout is equally important, as the space is moving too quickly to devote key team members to focus solely on keeping up with innovation.

Patrick Raycroft and Kevin Struthers are dedicated to leading W. Capra clients with tackling all things related to digital commerce and payments. For further discussion, contact Patrick Raycroft at ptraycroft@wcapra.com  or Kevin Struthers at kstruthers@wcapra.com.

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