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Apr 15, 2021

How retailers can cut down on checkout queues without turning their store into a grab-and-go

How retailers can cut down on checkout queues without turning their stores into a grab-and-go

Long checkout lines are a huge hassle in brick-and-mortar retail.

According to Capgemini1, 60% of shoppers viewed long queues as the major pain point while shopping in-store. Some research even shows that 70% of shoppers would rather abandon their shopping when they’re faced with slow checkout2.

This results in an estimated collective US$37.7 billion sales loss due to lengthy checkout lines!3.
 

So to offset the losses, many physical retailers have started implementing self-checkout solutions. This is with the aim to shorten checkout time and enhance the customer experience, either by barcode scanning or by grab-and-go solutions like Amazon Go.

Yet, there’s usually a catch with these systems. The solutions offered might not be suitable for all retailers. There could be high setup costs and limitations on products that could be scanned.

Scanning non-packaged products is an issue to “troubleshoot” for businesses that want to maintain an efficient shopping experience while giving customers choice of bulk foods.

Natural foods like bread, cake, meals and fruit don’t have a barcode, or are difficult to identify at times. Retailers who sell these products need a solution to simplify their checkout process and improve the shopping experience, without breaking the bank.

Brick-and-mortar businesses need a Visual Checkout solution to streamline their retail experience.

 

Viscovery launched an AI-powered Visual Checkout solution to simplify this process. A low-cost camera can recognize multiple product items in the checkout ...

....within one second. And yes, both unlabeled and labeled products can be easily recognized.

Take bakery products as an example. With computer vision and deep learning, the Visual Checkout solution can distinguish the fine grain details in breads’ natural appearance—between different bread types and breads of the same type. Even minute differences, such as differences in toppings or colors, are recognized by the AI.

Visual Checkout can be implemented in various stores including bakeries, self-service restaurants, canteens, micro markets, and fresh produce groceries. And it can seamlessly integrate with an existing POS system.
 

No extra work or changes are needed, so scaling the automation is cost-effective and simple.

Capgemini noted in his research that 66% of shoppers believe automation could help solve the long queues when shopping in-store1... however, if there are no store staff to help, 51% of shoppers feel uncertain about using automation technology1.

In fact, nearly half of shoppers (42%) believe self-checkout is inconvenient since they always need to look for a sales assistant to help with the machine1. These stats indicate that although many consumers want to have a better experience with their checkout, self-checkout may not be the perfect solution for everyone.




Knowing all this, Viscovery created a Visual Checkout that can cater to different needs. Whether a retailer is in need of a self-checkout system, or cashier-assisted checkout system, Viscovery can implement a personalized solution.

In-person service is still needed today, but it can be improved by speeding up the checkout process at the same time. It’s the cashier who operates the checkout system, but the AI automatically recognizes multiple products during check out.

Cashiers no longer need to scan the product barcodes or spend time remembering, then keying-in the non-labeled product in a POS system one-by-one.


Currently, Viscovery Visual Checkout has been introduced in over 30 stores in the US, Japan and Taiwan, either as a self-checkout or cashier-assisted checkout. For more than a year, 85°C Bakery Café in the US, FamilyMart, IJySheng and Opera in Taiwan, Flammarion and numerous cake stores in Japan have been using the system.

2021 is looking up, as a few food courts and supermarkets are about to implement Viscovery’s comprehensive system.

So far, the Visual Checkout system has enabled over 600,000 speedy transactions and saved the retailers over 50% checkout time, effectively optimizing retail operations, efficiency and the customer experience.


[References]
  1. Capgemini Research Institute, “Smart Stores – Rebooting the retail store through in-store automation,” October 2019.
  2. Forrester Consulting, “Consumers Cringe At Slow Checkout,” April 2018.
  3. Adyen, “New Study: Long Lines Cost US Retailers $37.7 Billion,” May 2018.
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