For customers, self-checkout is a way for them to take charge of their shopping experience. It helps them apply coupons, scan their items, check prices, and pay at their own pace. But in a time when coronavirus has changed the way customers shop, how can retailers continue to use self-checkout and minimize risk?
Invest in your employees’ knowledge
Even in the middle of a crisis, it’s still important that customers feel welcome, safe and cared for. While social distancing guidelines can make it tough for store associates to interact with each other and with customers like they used to, having an engaging shoppers’ assistant at self-checkout will continue to be a big part of customer care and loss prevention efforts. And for store associates to interact with customers safely, confidently, and effectively, they need a robust training strategy, so they have the tools they need to minimize friction for the customer and risk for the retailer. And if sanitation and social distancing guidelines change, or certain products become in high demand, store associates should go through refresher training sessions to keep them updated on best practices and brand expectations.
Deploying a Mobile Operations Manager application with lane control and exception handling capabilities, can help store associates monitor multiple lanes and clear incremental exceptions without leaving their station. This allows associates to stay productive while maintaining social distancing and keep checkout lines moving smoothly.
Optimize existing technologies – and explore new ones.
As retailers are looking to maximize their profits, keep track of critical inventory and keep valuable product (in-demand items like toilet paper, cleaning supplies and disinfectants) from walking out the door, retail technology solutions help maintain the balance between friction and risk. Weight accuracy, IoT sensors, cameras, item tagging RFID and artificial intelligence can be deployed to fight fraud and create smoother, more accurate transactions. Much of this technology is already starting to be deployed as retailers move towards creating frictionless stores. Product-related fraud is a common self-checkout challenge, and new advancements in object recognition technology within self-checkout have helped retailers supplement their loss prevention strategies without adding friction for customers.
Consider a holistic, data-driven strategy
Self-checkout and loss prevention are both dynamic processes with a lot of moving parts that demand regular review. As a retailer is considering implementing a self-checkout strategy or reevaluating a current one, it’s important to use a full-scope view with a wide variety of metrics and data – like demographics, historic shrink rates and workforce availability – to support any decisions. Data analysis will help reveal how well loss prevention tactics and strategies are working, and how customers and store associates uses these solutions. With an overall view of the store, a retailer can better understand trends and make adjustments, which will lead to a better customer experience that reduces losses.
Optimizing existing self-checkout solutions can help ensure that retailers are safely giving customers the checkout experience that they’ve come to expect, while minimizing risk to their business. To learn more about how retailers can balance friction and risk with advanced loss prevention tools, read this whitepaper, “How Advanced Loss Prevention Balance Friction and Risk at Checkout” created in collaboration with Retail Touchpoints.