The 2018 RBR Global EPOS & Self-Checkout Market report projected a 7% CAGR for self-checkout (SCO) terminals around the globe from 2017 to 2023, noting that the EPOS market will grow by just 2%. What is driving this change in purchasing behavior?
The answer, of course, comes down to consumers.
Grocery shopping trends have shifted dramatically over the past 20 years since SCO was introduced. In Australia, for example, consumers are visiting their local supermarket nearly three times per week—conducting their “main” shopping trip once a week but stopping in throughout the week to replenish supplies (some 80% purchase vegetables multiple times each week). Likewise, in Europe, studies show that two-thirds of consumers are stopping at a supermarket daily, often on their way home from work to purchase ingredients for the evening meal.
Interestingly, research out of the UK found that more than one-third of those polled visit a number of stores to complete their shopping trip, “because no one store has the best of everything.”
What does frequent, more diverse shopping mean for grocers? Smaller baskets are becoming more and more common, and SCO solutions are the perfect complement. When your consumers just want to pop into your store and pick up a few items, they want to get in and get out quickly.
Grocers Must Address these Changing Consumer Behaviors
SCO is a fast-track out the door for many shoppers, and its appeal is broadening. In the most recent U.S. Consumer Reports grocery store survey, Three-quarters of those polled said they had tried SCO in the past year, and three-quarters of those people said it was a timesaver.
There are some “Golden Rules of SCO” we recommend our grocery clients follow:
- Ensure your self-checkout terminals are always open and always on. Our EASY SCO family of terminals is highly reliable, and backed by our Self-Checkout as a Service solution, which provides monitoring tools and preventative failure protection that helps ensure consumer satisfaction.
- Train your employees to properly manage SCO lanes. There is a fine line between offering too much help, and not enough. A key factor in running a successful SCO installation is having a well-trained, motivated attendant who is available to provide assistance, but is knowledgeable enough to minimize unnecessary interventions. We often find that consumers who encounter a small issue while checking out, but then resolve it themselves, are empowered to use SCO more frequently in the future.
- Thoughtfully evaluate your store’s checkout mix. Consumers say that speed, ease of use and control are the major benefits of using SCO. To maintain these benefits, your checkout area must offer the right mix of manned tils, SCO with cash or card, scan & go kiosks, hybrid concepts, even mobile self-scanning. Combined, these solutions can help you minimize costs and optimize the TCO of your entire checkout system. Our consultants can help identify the best scenario for your specific stores, and build ROI calculations and 3D store simulations to help you visualize the process.
- Keep it simple and flexible. We offer solutions that can operate as SCO or be manned by an employee according to the needs of the store at any given time. As consumer behavior continues to change, it’s critical that your checkout solutions be adaptable to what comes next. Our experienced retail advisors can help you make the best decisions to help you achieve long-term success, no matter what the future holds.
Want to find out more about how our SCO solutions and flexible, open retail software could transform the consumer experience at your grocery store? Let’s start a conversation.