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The future is cashier-less (and already here)

Step aside, self-checkout lanes. New, high-tech smash-ups of artificial intelligence, smart video and mobile computing technologies are making cashier-less retail outlets the next big in-store innovation. The future is cashier-less.

Point of Sale & Kiosks     |     Structured Cabling     |     November 9, 2018

Friction. No matter how smoothly your retail stores run, you can always find it. Friction points in the shopping experience can dull customer satisfaction, slow sales and shrink the potential for those word-of-mouth worthy brand interactions you and your team have worked so hard to build. And for many brick-and-mortar retail customers, the biggest friction point of all is still neatly positioned between your products and your front doors. The checkout counter.

NET Technology has installed and maintained hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of cashier stations since we opened our doors. And since most American consumers say they still prefer in-store shopping experiences to buying online, we’ll probably install a few more. But that doesn’t mean today’s check-out lines aren’t changing. Because there’s no spot in forward-thinking retail stores that is evolving faster.

Step aside, self-checkout lanes. New, high-tech smash-ups of artificial intelligence, smart video and mobile computing technologies are making cashier-less retail outlets the next big in-store innovation. And that could mean even shorter lines, more enjoyable and helpful interactions between your shoppers and your employees, and frictionless sales.

In Amazon’s now-famous cashier-free Amazon Go convenience stores, a mix of advanced cameras, shelf sensors and auto-billing tech enable Seattle shoppers (and soon, Chicago and San Francisco shoppers) to hit the shelves and then the exit without ever stopping by a register.

Other online-first retailers, like eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker, are using cashier-less tech to power up “showroom” stores where shoppers can wear products before making an online purchase. Fast casual and quick serve restaurants from McDonalds to Panera are integrating self-order kiosks. And even traditional department stores like Macy’s are trying out technologies that allow customers to “swipe” products as they shop before finalizing their purchase on a mobile device.

Perhaps most telling of all, the trendsetting retail giant Walmart beta-tested their own cashier-less Scan & Go app last year. And they’ve taken a page out of Apple’s playbook with a line-busting new Check Out With Me service that outfits sales associates with mobile POS technology, so customers can make payments on the spot instead of at the counter.

They’re all responding to customers’ calls for faster shopping trips and shorter lines. According to a recent survey, 8 out of 10 millennials are interested in scan and go solutions. That could KW2madison.com | Madison, WI | 608-232-2300 2 make the future of automated retail a $50 billion opportunity, according to some venture capitalists. And we agree. The biggest wedge of retail pie may very well belong to those innovative companies who make the most out of the latest tech and get the most out of every employee in their store. That means investing in frictionless, cashier-less solutions first and retraining employees to improve customer service and increase in-store sales, instead of taking payments. Want to take a closer look at the latest cashier-less tech? NET can help you find a smart, always ahead-of-the-curve solution for your retail needs. Check our our broad range of services to learn more or talk to a NET specialist today.