3 Hidden Reasons Why Retailers Should Rely on Cashierless Checkout
Today’s consumers crave end-to-end convenience, both before and after the shopping experience — i.e., what they see online before they enter the doors of a brick-and-mortar store as well as communications with the retailer after they shop. In addition to the pressure to deliver based on customer expectations, today’s retail landscape is becoming more competitive and price sensitive, forcing retailers to keep operational costs in check.
One way retailers are looking to accommodate consumer demands for convenience is by installing cashierless checkout technology. According to a new study by Juniper Research, smart checkout technology systems are expected to process more than $45 billion in transactions by 2023. Cashierless checkout has been deemed the new self-checkout. With 42 percent of Gen Z consumers shopping in-store vs. online, cashierless checkout provides retailers with a competitive advantage by providing next-gen customers with the service they expect. That said, in addition to accommodating a new demographic, retailers are confronted with the unique challenge of having to retain existing customers.
When it comes to cashierless checkout, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Smart technology provides retailers with the ability to power back-end operations, organize tasks and think ahead when it comes to accommodating all consumers. Below are some of the "hidden" reasons why retailers should embrace cashierless technology:
- Cash in on Customer Satisfaction: As retailers increasingly use price as leverage to cater to the customer experience, innovative technology is necessary to retain current customers and attract future ones. Beyond the aesthetic appeal of cashierless checkout, artificial intelligence-based technology allows for customers to interact with chatbots about their purchase. While this might seem more effective for younger customers, all customer service touchpoints can be programmed and controlled via robotic process automation (RPA) bots, allowing less room for human error. Once an interaction takes place in-store, RPA bots can handle sales execution and at-home delivery scheduling.
- Retail Therapy (for the Back Office): Technology such as optical character recognition (OCR) can help with automating back-office tasks, including invoice processing and shipment transactions. Vendors can be identified and contacted automatically to determine relevant delivery slots and supply all of the necessary customer shipment details. With cashierless technology, retailers can perform real-time stock and price checks during customer sales interactions by using robotic software connected to back-end systems. With monotonous back-office tasks being automated, sales associates can spend more time with the consumer and less time on reporting and administrative tasks.
- Plan Your Next Shopping Trip: RPA and next best offer (NBO) systems help retailers think ahead to the customer’s next purchase by having relevant offers pop up on in-store displays in real time based on a customer’s purchase history. Retailers can also use NBO systems to promote in-store promotions or online offers. With this technology now available, the shopping experience continues when the consumer leaves a particular retail location, allowing them to think ahead to their next in-store or online purchase.
Although cashierless checkout might seem like a fad, RPA, chatbots and other technologies are here to stay. According to Goldman Sachs, 85 percent of retail purchases are still made in physical stores. Cashierless checkout will help retailers prepare for an influx of brick-and-mortar customers in 2019 and beyond while catering to what customers have grown to love — a seamless, easy experience. As our world becomes more connected, you can expect retailers to follow suit, making the shopping experience more interactive and accommodating to on-the-go, technology-driven lifestyles.
Karen Inbar is a solution marketer at NICE, a provider of cloud and on-premise enterprise software solutions that empower organizations to make smarter decisions based on advanced analytics of structured and unstructured data.