The least enjoyable part of most shopping experiences is queuing to pay. Once customers have made their selections they want to get out of the store as quickly and easily as possible. Some customers Increasingly will even choose not to go to stores with long queues. Definately a challenge when retailers are looking to cut costs at checkouts by reducing staff numbers. One solution is self service checkouts.
Self service is just another channel that customers can chose to use as and when it suits them, not a replacement for regular checkouts. The big problem with some self service checkouts is customer embarrassment. If something goes wrong with the process most customers automatically say sorry to a member of staff as if they have made a mistake. Customer should never be put in this position. The second problem is that there is often a queue at the self service checkouts too so they don’t always solve the initial customer problem.
As well as self service checkouts some retailers are evaluating how staff can take orders and payments on the shop floor in a similar way to Apple stores. The other approach under consideration is, for some customers, the most desirable of all. Being able to pay with their phone without any physical checkout or help from in-store staff.
Obviously not all of the payment methods will fit with all retailers but I expect that within a year most major retailers will be offering at least three of the four options.