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10 Most Promising Checkout Options: The Future is Already Here

In-Store Trends, January 18, 2012

by Sean Deale

Everyone is different, and therefore everyone wants to have an alternative that they feel is tailored more to their needs. When it comes to the checkout, each store-based retailer will look to provide shoppers with options that are tailored to its largest demographics.

Some retailers, like Trader Joe’s and Disney Stores, are fixated on human interaction in-store. Stores like these will not likely stray far from the staffed checkout station. As a whole, however, we should we should expect the top 100 global retailers to feature more than just one of the following checkout options by 2020. By that time we could see one store in which 10 consumer’s purchases could all be processed differently!

1. Order Online & Pick-up At Drive Through – The shopper orders online and a store employee picks the order, stages it, and brings it to the shopperís car. (Auchan Drive & E. Leclerc Drive).

2. Order Online & Pick-Up From Lockers in the Front-End – The shopper walks into the store and retrieves her pre-assembled shopping order from lockers in the front of the store. Short of a drive-thru, this is as convenient as it gets for visiting a storeóno fighting through crowds or aisles of impulse merchandising to get to the pick-up station in the back of the building. (Harris Teeter).

3. Order By Scanning QR-Codes on Walls – Shoppers scan QR codes in highly trafficked areas like malls, airports, movie theatres, bus stops, and even in magazines. Each QR code scanned is added to their basket. Once their order is complete, the retailer picks and delivers the order to their doorstep. (Of course, the order could also be waiting for in-store pick-up or drive-through too.) (Homeplus, Toys R Us, Cencosud, Staples)

4. Employee-Operated Mobile POS – An associate assists the shopper throughout their trip, adding items to a mobile shopping cart. Once the shopper has all of the items they want, the associate can process their payment through a handheld device from anywhere in the store. This works best for retailers where baskets tend to have fewer, more expensive items. (Sephora, Home Depot, Nordstrom)

5. Transactional Smartphone Apps – In this scenario, the shopper shops and scans on their own smartphone as they progress through their trip. Click ëpurchaseí, show their digital receipt to a store employee, and walk out. (Apple)

6. Retailer Specific Shopping Apps – A shopper could walk the store scanning items with their smartphone before entering them into their basket. Once their basket is complete, they simply swipe their phone over an NFC receiver at the checkout. (Modiv Media, AisleBuyer)

7. In-Store Kiosks – A shopper could walk a store only to find that the items they are looking for are not in stock. That shopper then uses an in-store terminal (an iPad or proprietary device), select the items they want, and have them delivered to their home. (JCPenney)

8. Store-Provided Handheld Devices – A shopper could grab a store provided handheld device from the dock at the entrance to the store. Scan items throughout the store, while receiving targeted promotional and advertising materials from the brands. To check out, they would simply place the scanner into a receiver, swipe their credit card, and walk out. (With new technology & new smartphone apps, this idea could eventually fade out. Smartphone adoption in the US grew at a 63% CAGR ’07-’11, which means that retailers will likely choose a perfected mobile app over an expensive handheld device. Regardless of which option the retailer chooses, we know that a retailer is highly unlikely to put a lot of capital into both solutions.) (Stop & Shop, Kroger)

9. Self-Checkout – A shopper could decide that they would rather use a self-checkout station because the line at a staffed checkout counter is too long. (CVS & Fresh & Easy Express)

10. Staffed Checkout – A shopper could decide that they are not too concerned with the additional couple minutes it takes to wait in the staffed checkout line. Perhaps this shopper is slightly less tech savvy, and would rather talk to the helpful & friendly cashier than plug numbers into a smartphone, computer, or self-checkout counter. (Trader Joe’s & Disney)

Read the Full Article: In-Store Trends