Weighing Up the Pros and Cons of Self-Checkout Technology

The retail industry is being affected by several interesting trends at the moment. The increasing implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) is worth keeping an eye on. These technologies allow retailers to not only deliver better customer experiences but to do so in an efficient and effective way.

Another interesting trend to follow is self-checkout. The technology behind self-checkout points in retail spaces has evolved rapidly this past year alone, allowing the trend to be more appealing to retail businesses. Similar to other retail technologies, however, self-checkout technology has its pros and cons.

Pro: Lower Overhead

Self-checkout technology offers a wide range of benefits, but the one that captures the attention of many retail businesses is the fact that it lowers overhead costs. Rather than having employees work in shifts to man the registers, retailers can opt for self-checkout points.

It’s not a bad thing for customers either. In fact, multiple studies have shown that up to 70% of retail customers prefer to use self-checkout kiosks than interact with others whilst moving through the tills.

Con: Less Personal Experience

The lack of a personal touch in the shopping experience is a major disadvantage for self-checkout technology. For certain retailers, communicating with customers directly is still very important.

This is also the reason why many smaller retail businesses stick to clerks and employees rather than switch to machines and automated kiosks. When human contact is a part of your retail experience, self-checkout is not an easy technology to implement.

Pro: Streamlined Customer Experience

There is no arguing that self-checkout kiosks are faster and more convenient, which means they actually deliver a better customer experience. Customers’ preferences aside, self-checkout kiosks are known to be very effective in cutting queues at checkouts.

With customers actively avoiding long queues, self-checkout technology becomes the perfect solution for boosting the in-store customer experience. A streamlined shopping experience is a huge competitive advantage, especially in today’s market.

Con: Risk of Theft

Another disadvantage worth considering is the higher risk of theft. Many retailers implementing self-checkout technology also invest in better security and surveillance systems to deal with a higher risk of theft. The initial investment becomes bigger, which could be a barrier to entry for some retail businesses.

Look at the bigger picture, however, and it is clear that self-checkout technology brings a lot of benefits to the retail industry. The technology itself is evolving still, so expect to see better, safer, and more personalised self-checkout experiences in the near future.

Pro: Lower Investments

There is a misconception that self-checkout technology is expensive; this is actually not true. Self-checkout kiosks have gotten more affordable – even for smaller retail businesses – thanks to the scale at which the technology is now implemented.

There are more solutions to choose from, and the available solutions are priced lower than ever. Compared to the cost savings a retail business can gain by implementing self-checkout technology, the decision to invest in this solution is an easy one to make.

If you’re interested in self-checkout technology then we invite you to check out our partnerships with Aures and LS Retail. Contact Dynavics today to learn more about the implementation of self-checkout technology, including optimisation with the appropriate software, can help to enable improved efficiency and service levels at your business.

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