Navigating the Future of Retail: The Evolution of Self-Checkout Systems

Self-checkout, a win-win for everyone, right? It can mean less employee overhead and can empower customers to help themselves. Yet, many stores-even the big box stores-are doing away with self-checkout for three major reasons: cost/maintenance, customer experience, and inventory management challenges.

We have written extensively about the customer experience and whether it even matters to retailers anymore. The challenge is that, if you are taking a “hands off approach”, the customer experience in your retail environment is, for the most part, controlled by them. This means you list and restock product as the retailer confirms it is needed.

Self-checkout is one of many technological advancements that retailers rushed to integrate thinking that it would both improve customer experience and reduce their overhead. But the challenges are proving to be multi-fold.

Probably the biggest factor to impact your sales is when self-checkout goes awry, giving you a false impression of your retail inventory. The result is you think product is in stock when it isn’t, directly impacting customer experience and brand loyalty.

On the topic of customer experience, place yourself in your customers’ shoes for a moment. Have you ever gone to a store and tried to check out only to find the machine not working properly, not weighing items, or prompting a supervisor every third item? One bad experience at self-checkout not only may cost you a customer but it also may cost the retailer their customer. This is a major reason many retailers are walking away from dependency on self-checkout.

The cost to integrate and properly maintain self-checkout is proving to be prohibitive. And when retailers opt not to properly maintain their self-checkout, who pays the price? Your customer.

The best way to have more control over where your customers buy is to have boots on the ground. Smaller brands often want to do this but, especially when you sell nationally, this can be a costly apparatus to build in-house. This is where your partners come in.

Retail merchandising companies like MarketSupport already have a national workforce visiting the stores where your products are listed. This means, at a fraction of the cost, you can consistently ensure that the inventory is correct. Something as simple as product lingering in the back when it should be on the shelf is just one aspect of retail that we address when in-store. We also validate that your product is in the right place at the right price.

While there are things at retail you cannot control, if you take control of the things you can, you will see an uptake in revenue.

For more information about how you can thrive at retail please visit:

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