The rise of self-scan: a cost-effective alternative to self-checkout

by 21 August 2018
The rise of self-scan

Shoppers’ lives are becoming busier, and their time as a result is increasingly more valuable. It’s understandable, therefore, that the introduction of self-checkout technology has revolutionised the retail industry, giving people the freedom to take control of their own checkout experience. Year on year, the number of self-checkout tills is continually growing in line with a rising demand for greater ease and speed when making a purchase. However, the jury is still largely out as to whether the experience is in fact any quicker. This may be the case for a smaller basket, but when it comes to a full trolley-load, then self-checkout can actually take longer due to delays with identifying the correct items if not barcoded, Challenge 25 checks, or else “unexpected items in the bagging area”.

Likewise, implementing self-checkout tills into the retail environment can work out to be an extremely costly investment. The cost of installing a single terminal can work out to be thousands of pounds – and that’s not including the cost of training your staff to use the technology properly. Tills can also frequently break down or experience faults, resulting in costly repairs and maintenance each time. Importantly, self-checkout technology can eat up a significant amount of valuable floor space within your store, too.

Why is self-scan the solution?

Self-scanning has seen a sharp rise in popularity over the past few years, enabling shoppers to scan items as they shop rather than at a checkout till, dramatically reducing queue times and streamlining the purchasing process. In terms of efficiency, convenience, and speed, self-scan seems to be the ideal alternative to self-checkout, yet many retailers are still put off by the costs of implementing dedicated hand-held scanning devices into their environment. The solution is simple – mobile self-scan.

Almost every in-store shopper today owns a smartphone. Making use of this existing technology is the perfect opportunity to drive down costs, increase revenue, and empower your customers. Our own smartphone-based scanning software, evoSelfScan, offers shoppers a much more sophisticated in-store experience, and thanks to increasingly intelligent functionality can become a platform for integrating all sorts of value-adding innovation such as loyalty, feedback, and more; all achievable from the customer’s phone.

A more cost-effective way to checkout

By providing shoppers with a single app wherein they are able to scan their items using their phone, it eradicates the need for both costly self-scanning devices and self-checkout tills. Using a single app also requires far less maintenance than self-checkout hardware – most of which can be done remotely and quickly. And because the app can be downloaded and applied to as many mobile devices as you like, it is far more scalable than adding more tills or devices, further reducing both the cost of installation and the use of precious retail space on the shop floor.

Retail in real-time

evoSelfScan offers budget-conscious shoppers a real-time look at the value of items and their basket total, so they’re always aware of how much they are spending to ensure there are no surprises when they arrive at the checkout. But mobile self-scan doesn’t  stop at simply totting up baskets. It’s also an ideal way of making shoppers aware of any ongoing promotions you may have, as well as alerting them  to favourite products or aisle information in real-time as they shop. This improves upselling opportunities by highlighting products of interest to the customer based on past behaviour, and in doing so personalises their experience and offers deals that avoid double-discounting.

Time is of the essence

The fast-paced nature of self-scan makes the retail experience far quicker. As shoppers are scanning everything as they go, there’s no need for them to unnecessarily wait in line, but instead gain all of the queue-busting advantages of going directly to a self-scan checkout, or else letting the cashier scan a unique code to complete payment. Functionality is also being developed that will soon make it possible for you to pay for all your scanned items in-app, too, bypassing the queuing process completely. Likewise, in the future other exciting features will be possible, like route-finding capabilities that will sync with a virtual shopping list to help customers navigate their way around your store to locate what they need faster.

Environmentally conscious

evoSelfScan will automatically send a digital copy of your customer’s receipt straight to their smartphone after every purchase, reducing wastage caused by paper receipts. Shoppers also gain the advantage of being able to look back through their payment history via the app, easily reviewing their previous purchases on-demand.

Self-scan represents huge untapped potential for small-format retail and is ready-to-go for retailers looking to modernise their stores. While it may feel like a big change, it’s one which shoppers are ready to embrace and is a far superior alternative to self-checkout.

evoSelfScan is a highly intuitive self-scanning mobile app that makes self-service shopping at c-stores effortless. Grounded in our next-generation POS, evoPOS®, it brings fast access to the latest in retail innovation thanks to an open software platform that dramatically shortens development cycles for new features.

If you would like to learn more about evoSelfScan, evoPOS, or how self-scan could benefit your c-store, please speak to one of the team for further information.

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