Cashierless Experiences Make Businesses More Hospitable

More consumers want a contactless, cashierless checkout experience. But does your hotel have the right software, hardware options to offer it to them?
man and woman using self checkout

At the first mention of a cashierless store, you might think of a small-format grocer. While originally piloted and made mainstream in the grocery vertical, contactless and checkout-free options are quickly expanding across all areas of business.

For example, Starbucks locations now offer the option to order ahead and pay online, with no need to interact with a barista. As well, Texas A&M University recently licensed checkout-free technology for its football stadium concessions. A key indicator for the growth in scanless technology offerings is that last year, nearly 60% of consumers noted they would like to have this type of technology enabled in stores near them. 

Evaluate cashierlesss technology based on your needs

It's critical to evaluate the features and capabilities offered by cashierless technology before implementation. Even one poor experience can deter a customer from experimenting with shopping in new formats.

For instance, in a recent survey, more than two-thirds of respondents said a self-checkout kiosk has failed while they were using it. With fast and convenient shopping experiences high in demand, you must be sure to implement contactless options that work best for your store size and unique offerings.

Provide relevant, personalized information

When opting for a cashierless experience, shoppers risk losing out on the personal touch that an in-store associate can offer. To avoid this, consider providing personalized information and support directly on a shopper’s mobile device. After all, consumers are already using their mobile phones, so why not communicate with them in real time?  

If your hotel provides the option for check in, key card and remote control use to be available on a phone, it might be time to offer contactless mobile capabilities in your gift shop. If the shopper is in need of support, they can click a “help” button that can offer FAQs, or signal an in-store team member to assist them.

For QSRs, after a customer orders their meal, provide an estimated time the order will be ready, the customer’s unique order number and details on where to pick it up. A detailed level of information that’s personalized to each visit ensures that even though a customer opts for a cashierless journey, they don’t lose out on the overall experience.

Calculate virtual baskets in real time 

Several technologies are integrated to make contactless and scanless experiences possible. First, laser technology can be used to create a 3D representation of the surveyed environment. Weight sensors can also track the movement of products in real time. When utilized simultaneously, this eliminates the need for any form of checkout. Alternatively, computer vision machine learning can be used to track individual movements of every individual shopper in the store.

Yet, the idea of walking out of a store without having to stop at a checkout counter or scan items can still be intimidating for some shoppers. They might wonder if they’re over their budget, or if they will be charged for an item they placed back on the shelf. As a solution, offer shoppers the option to check their total balance at any point of the journey on their phone.

By offering real-time basket information, you will also find the ability to communicate additional pertinent details. This includes nutrition facts for food products, or relevant promotions that lead to upsells. Without this information at a shopper’s fingertips, you’re at risk for lost sales or negative shopping experiences.

Enable a flexible shopping journey

At its core, scanless technology removes friction and minimize interactions or time spent waiting in a store. However, as mentioned above, each shopper’s journey and preferences are different. While offering a completely contactless experience, also provide customers options in how they want to shop.

A great example of this is through the method of payment. There are a growing number of payment options, ranging from traditional card payments or more emerging technology, like mobile, QR codes and bitcoin. What’s more, Insider Intelligence reports consumers are changing their payment habits given economic uncertainty. Offering flexibility on payment methods are that much more important to fostering loyalty.

As it relates to a scanless store, give shoppers the choice to be pre-authorized, and enter their information through your branded app before they shop. For those that want to scan a QR code, add a kiosk at the exit. And if a shopper wants to skip waiting in line to scan items but prefers to pay cash, ensure there is an in-store associate at a register to finalize the transaction.

The number of payment options will only continue to increase. It’s important that you look for flexible technology that allows you to quickly implement and add new features as they emerge.

Welcome every type of shopper

The demand for convenient, simple experiences has allowed cashierless offerings to expand across hospitality, including hotels and restaurants of all sizes. While the experience feels seamless to the shopper, a number of technologies are required at the back end to make it possible. It is imperative you evaluate the ways you can streamline building a flexible journey, including personalized information, virtual baskets and multiple payment options.

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