A Perfect Storm Of Circumstance, Accelerates Self-Checkout Investments Across Retail Segments 

14 June 2022

Gilly Farrell



Do you think Self-Checkouts (SCOs) belong just in supermarkets? Think again. Clothing stores, DIY Stores, Fuel Retailers, Convenience Stores, Hospitality and Entertainment environments and many more all recognise that Self-Checkouts are a positive for their customers and in-store operations.

Global Retail Self-Check-out investment increased by 50% in 2019. Followed by 25% growth in 2020 – despite COVID lockdowns that shut non-essential Retail down. In Europe, the investment came from both first-time rollouts and a technology refresh by existing SCO adopters. In contrast, EPOS investment contracted by 20%, starkly illustrating the shift in focus across the sector. *RBR Global EPOS and Self-checkout 2021

In the first quarter of 2022, Glory organised a series of sessions for Retailers and Suppliers, to dig a little deeper into this technology trend. In the first webinar session, we looked at why retailers have accelerated their investment in SCOs. The ‘why’ lay in changing consumer habits revealing a growing consumer preference for self-service in general. COVID accelerated this trend due to hygiene and social distancing measures, and SCOs climbed the ‘pop charts’ of priority technology investments for Retailers.

In the second session we looked at the evolution of SCO hardware and software. We considered how SCOs are evolving, with the lines being blurred between kiosks and self-checkouts as retailers look to offer multi-service destinations with large screens and swipe and click technology that consumers are familiar and comfortable with.

The final session focused on Customer Experience. Here is the golden bullet, but it comes with a caveat. With SCOs, there are very few other investments that have the potential for Retailers to achieve both operational and customer experience improvement. But you must approach your investment from a customer-centric perspective - as a way of reducing your customers pain points as well as increasing productivity. Why? Because a badly thought through SCO installation causes frustration and disruption to your customers’ in-store experience – and experience is where all the leading retail brands are putting their investment dollars. To increase sales, retain customers and lower the cost of service.

It is tempting to approach Self-Checkout technology installations from a cost-cutting perspective. We all know that there is a global shortage of retail staff resources – and this problem is exacerbated by current retail staff churn rates. SCOs can be implemented to allow Retailers to better manage staff resources at the checkout. However, the data shows that one of the top frustrations with using SCOs is that there is a lack of staff to help shoppers with any issues or enquiries. The ‘human touch’ is a crucial factor and a differentiator in physical stores that delivers added value to consumers in contrast to an online purchase.

In summary, Self-Checkout Solutions in retail environments are no longer an ‘additional consideration’ for Retailers. They are now established as a necessary tool to facilitate consumer choice, growing customer preference for self-service and to better manage store operations at the point-of-sale.

If you want to explore this topic in more depth, head to this link where we have collated lots of the content, we used to deliver the webinar series and uncover the data and trends behind Self-Checkout technology. As well as replays of the session, you will find Retailer videos, industry reports, white papers, and slides from the sessions.

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