Customers Want a Smarter Checkout System from Your Brand

Every customer has a goal when they enter a store. Although each customer has different expectations for their shopping experience, the overall objective is always the same: to exchange money for goods. Self-checkout options have changed customers' expectations of what constitutes a successful transaction over the past 20+ years, but it wasn't until recently that the demand and urgency for a more seamless, and smarter, checkout experience became crucial to a store's success. Historically, that in-store exchange was a person-to-person experience.


Following the COVID-19 epidemic, the retail environment underwent a significant transformation, which also affected consumer behavior. In a poll by Nielsen of more than 15,000 grocery consumers, commissioned by Diebold Nixdorf, 81 percent of respondents said they make a shopping list in advance and 78 percent said they check online to see if an item is in stock before they go shopping. Customers are entering retailers more prepared, frequently armed with inventory data, so they are aware of exactly what they will find and how soon the transaction will be completed before they even reach the store.


Consumers desire control

Customers like to choose their own speed while shopping and have a strategy in mind. Some clients find that pace to be hurried, rigid, and unbending. Others have longer, more natural, and suggestible experiences. For speed, efficiency, and convenience, the customer on the quick trip needs to have faith that when they enter the store, the item will be there where they expect it to be, perhaps even pre-purchased. This will allow them to enter and exit the store without possibly having to even pull out their wallet or wait for a staff member to ring them up.


Customers who are traveling further may attend the store in search of inspiration and require assistance from the personnel to properly complete the experiential, personal, and aided purchasing experience. Every customer journey is equally significant to retailers, and regardless of how short or long the experience is, having the right technology in place is essential to maintaining and increasing customer loyalty.


These paths ultimately come together at the cash register. For their customers to have a "successful" shopping experience, stores need to have a more intelligent checkout mix in place. This entails using both technologies that enable cashiers that can assist customers looking for a more "traditional" experience as well as self-service alternatives that allow customers the power to manage the shopping experience. Retailers can make sure they have the proper combination of solutions to meet consumer desire for speedy checkout and modular technology that can adjust when consumer expectations change by leveraging current customer data and analysis methodologies from experienced partners.


Staff empowerment

Smarter checkout empowers not just customers but also store employees. Retail personnel plays a significant, yet frequently underappreciated, role in enabling the adoption of technology and, ultimately, a great journey for customers. Retailers are in the business of fostering client loyalty, and a positive customer experience involves staff members that assist, improve, and ultimately promote the consumer. A staff person cannot offer that help if they are reliant on antiquated point-of-sale systems that need ongoing maintenance and management. Making sure your personnel is present at the appropriate moment for tasks like replenishment and line-busting improves the entire retail experience for both staff and customers.


Your physical channels must keep up with their digital equivalents if you want a better checkout mix. The retail infrastructure of a business must be capable of supporting continually changing technologies, from modular retail POS systems to implementation and maintenance services. Will your store be able to use the newest technology, or will it need to start from scratch every time an upgrade is required? Are employees equipped to respond when problems with technology arise?


The solutions to these issues are essential for maintaining technology, satisfying customers, and creating a retail ecosystem that can adapt to the rapidly changing and fiercely competitive retail environment.


In the end, stores will still be the center of retail activity, but without self-service and automated choices, retailers won't have the necessary infrastructure to thrive in the retail industry of the future. With every new technological advancement in the retail industry, more consumers—42 percent of them—"are interested in shopping at completely automated, unmanned store formats." A complete suite of cloud-ready software and flexible hardware provides retailers with a robust, future-proof experience that meets all the specific difficulties across all retail segments, from self-checkout to personalized consumer engagement.


Employee engagement, customer empowerment, and the efficient exchange of money for goods will all be achieved. Customers of today are prepared for future shopping expeditions. Is it your shop?