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Checking it out: Autonomous sales

Market research on self-checkout and micromarkets.


Photo credit: © Wire_man / Adobe Stock.

Two studies were conducted to find out how consumers felt about self-checkout stations. One was sponsored by Shekel Brainweigh Ltd., and the other study sponsored by SOTI. SOTI revealed that 66 per cent of shoppers preferred self-service and self-checkout as the most preferred solution with 53 per cent favouring the technology, followed by digital kiosk /scanners to enable price checks, coming in at a distant second (23 per cent). In addition, 77 per cent of consumers would be very or somewhat comfortable in a retail setting where only self-checkout technology was offered.

According to SOTI’s survey, which looked at U.S. consumers shopping habits both online and in-store, 76 per cent of consumers indicated they have a had a better in-store experience when retail sales associates were armed with technology. Additionally, 67 per cent of the respondents said retailers that utilized more mobile technology enabled them to save time, according to a press release.

Micromarkets or coffee services that provided self-checkouts were only preferred if the machines could easily and rapidly identify items; according to an online survey, sponsored by Shekel Brainweigh Ltd., 90 per cent of consumers desire self-checkout machines that can automatically identify items.

The consumer study takes consumers’ pulse on checkout, vending machines, convenience and autonomous store technologies. Nearly 80 per cent of survey respondents were between the ages of 18-60 years old and 62 per cent were female.

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Key findings of the studies are:

Self-Checkout

  • Nearly 80 per cent of consumers needed assistance at least once during their self-checkout experience, and almost 30 percent of consumers using self-checkout were pulled aside by store personnel to check their purchases.
  • Nearly 60 per cent were more likely to use self-checkout if technology improvements (system simplification, automated entries and more accuracy) were deployed.
  • Nearly 90 per cent of respondents visit convenience stores at least once a week for grocery items
  • Nearly 25 per cent said the fastest possible checkout would also significantly improve their experience.
  • Autonomous Micro Market:
  • Less than 15 per cent of survey respondents have visited a fully autonomous micro market; but those that have visited a micro market cited convenience, speed, selection variety and pricing as the main benefits of these locations.
  • While nearly two-third of consumers frequently use self-checkout machines at the grocery store, nearly 75 per cent stated difficulty in entering goods and frequent overrides were their biggest concerns with the technology.

Vending

  • Nearly 50 per cent would purchase healthy food items from a vending machine if readily available.
  • Nearly 50 per cent of consumers cited lack of selection and fresh products in today’s vending machines as frustrations.

Yoram Ben Porat, CEO of Shekel Brainweigh said in a press release, “The results of our Consumer survey is coherent to the market trends as we know for some time, and well represent the major desires of consumers for improvement of their unattended shopping: better and faster shopping experience, availability of stores and variety of products.”

For more than 40 years, Shekel developed scale and weighing technology. The company provides weighing solutions to the retail and healthcare markets via companies such as Toshiba, Fujitsu, Diebold Nixdorf and others. Utilizing its experience in weighing technology, Shekel Brainweigh introduced a suite of new products aimed at meeting the challenges that traditional retailers face today, such as store automation and operational excellence – including overstock and understock issues, loss prevention and enhancing the consumer experience.

By leveraging its unique technologies integrating IoT load sensors, embedded smart shelf software, AI and deep-learning algorithms, Shekel turns retail shelves into actionable insights. With its ability to identify products by weight, Shekel digitally transforms the store into a real-time, data-services-based business.