"The Atlantic" recently featured an article by Amanda Mull, titled "Self-Checkout Is a Failed Experiment." For those interested in a detailed read, you can find the article here.
Amanda Mull, a staff writer for "The Atlantic," critically examines the shortcomings of self-checkout systems. Initially, these systems promised simplicity and reduced wait times, with the added benefit of freeing up store associates to provide better customer service. However, Mull points out that these expectations haven't been met. Customers often still face long lines, and the technology, plagued by instability and frequent failures, demands additional assistance from staff.
For retailers and shop owners, the promise was straightforward: reduce labor costs by hiring fewer clerks. But this came with a hefty price tag - an average investment of around $125,000 for installing kiosks. Mull argues that this initial investment, coupled with ongoing expenses for maintenance requiring costly IT support, has made the technology a questionable choice.
Adding further perspective, Nathaniel Meyersohn's article in CNN Business, titled "Nobody likes self-checkout. Here's why it's everywhere," published on July 10, 2022, delves deeper into the issue.
Meyersohn explores the increasing usage of self-checkouts, noting a 23% increase in one year, accounting for 29% of all transactions at food retailers. However, customer reactions have been mixed. A 2003 Nielsen survey revealed a divide: some found these systems "great," while others found them "frustrating." This led to some retailers removing previously installed machines. Moreover, these systems created new challenges for retailers, including the need for regular maintenance and higher-wage IT jobs.
The core issue with traditional self-checkout systems is their reliance on barcode scanning - a concept rooted in past practices. This transfer of labor to the consumer has been the primary cause of dissatisfaction. However, recent advancements in artificial intelligence, particularly in object detection, are redefining the self-checkout experience.
At VisioLab, we've developed a visual self-checkout system that harnesses artificial intelligence to detect objects, eliminating the need for barcode scanning. This straightforward process involves placing products under a camera, followed by immediate payment, streamlining the entire checkout experience. This innovative approach fulfills the original promises of self-checkout technology.
Traditional self-checkout systems come with high upfront costs and maintenance challenges. In contrast, VisioLab's solution utilizes a leased iPad, combining top-notch software with Apple's robust hardware. This approach not only offers cutting-edge technology at a fraction of the cost but also simplifies maintenance. Apple's advanced supply chain and high-security standards further enhance the system's reliability and safety.
While critics rightly point out the high costs and underwhelming performance of traditional self-checkout systems, AI technology has ushered in a new era. By eliminating the need for manual scanning and adopting a cost-effective, monthly pricing model, these advanced systems offer immediate ROI, increase revenue, reduce labor costs, and significantly enhance the customer experience. In a time of labor shortages, this innovation is not just a step forward; it's a leap into the future of retail.
VisioLab shares the success story of their collaboration with Sodexo Live!, highlighting how their AI-powered self-checkout solution transformed the customer experience at live events. The technology, featuring a proprietary visual self-checkout and automated food recognition system, was piloted across several Sodexo Live! venues, leading to significantly reduced wait times, increased transaction accuracy, and a notable boost in revenue. The post details the efficiency of the VisioLab system, the positive impact on both staff and customers, and looks forward to further innovations in enhancing live event experiences.
Since the Corona crisis, there has been a real shortage of staff in catering establishments. Due to numerous lockdowns, they have been reorienting themselves professionally.
Self-service checkouts are the trend. According to an EHI study, self-service checkouts were already in use in more than 1,200 retail stores in August - in the restaurant trade, the checkout without cashier is still new.
The classic cash register with a drawer for cash has faithfully accompanied us for more than a century. Yet in just a few years, it could be a relic of the past.
Nowadays, it's hard to imagine many areas of life without artificial intelligence.