Checkout the future

The Central Group_Performance At Retail

“Once a shopper waits more than three minutes, the perceived wait time multiplies with each passing minute” Mike Sudal/The Wall Street Journal

Checkouts are a focal point for bricks and mortar retail innovation.

That innovation is moving fast. For example, the first self-checkouts showed up more than fifteen years ago. There are now 200,000 self-checkout machines in stores around the world. And the number is expected to reach more than 335,000 by 2020, according to figures from London-based research and consulting group RBR.

Self-checkouts are now found in two-thirds of all supermarkets in North America, and represent a quarter of all checkout lanes. An estimated 25-33% of all grocery store transactions are self-checkout of some kind.

Self-checkout innovation isn’t being driven by whimsy or consumer boredom. There are some significant factors at work, including labor reduction, automation, minimum wage pressures and a myriad of payment choices both in the online, mobile and physical world.

These factors will have a significant impact on brands that currently reside at checkout.

Who ‘gets’ checkout?

The top three supermarket performers – beverages, magazines and confectionery – make up 84% of front-end sales.

Brands in these categories have seen the checkout as a home, and have always found innovative ways to merchandise their offers, add value and promote bundles, or make use of every conceivable open area for merchandising. If you want to be a player at checkout, it pays to pay attention to beverages, magazines and confectionery.

What to do?

The key word here is collaboration. You simply can’t cover all the angles, or understand all the technologies at play – leaders are building cross-functional teams with employees, freelancers and highly specialized consultants at the table. What’s more, they’re forging new collaborative working relationships with technology and automation providers, store designers, and display and fixture partners.

We’re finding more and more emphasis is being placed on exploring checkout layout design  and optimal product integration. The goal is not only to improve and speed up the overall transaction experience, but offer consumers new, more convenient ways to engage with products relevant to the checkout experience.

And finally, it’s critical to make these interactions more meaningful. Checkout may be a relatively brief experience, but a great brand impression is worth solid gold.

 If you’d like to explore how The Central Group can bring clarity to your checkout experience, don’t hesitate to contact Mike Alviano at, ‭(905) 467-2231‬.


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