Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed apps that are used internally in the retail industry for the inventory management and procurement processes, and today we’re going to switch gears a little by looking at looking at how consumer-driven self-checkout apps are transforming the marketplace.
How does Self-checkout Work?
Many supermarkets have already implemented the large self-checkout units we’ve all become accustomed to. By applying this concept to smartphone devices, providing consumers with a self-checkout app, retailers can essentially shrink those immensely large self-checkout units into a pocket sized phone. This drastically reduces the hardware costs associated with deploying dedicated scanners across a retail chain, which is immensely expensive. Also, enabling self-checkout through customer smartphones opens the door to creating personalized mobile services to engage your customers, such as a mobile wallet app which delivers coupons and deals. Here’s a look at the typical self-checkout process:
- User scans products as they are added to a shopping basket.
- User Authenticates
- User scans a barcode on a checkout kiosk to checkout
Smartphone-based Scanning vs. Traditional Scanning
Self-Checkout systems like this drastically reduce hardware and labor costs for retailers while speeding up checkout lines. The camera on the phone replaces the traditional laser scanner, and provides customers with a swift and elegant experience. What’s better is the retailer doesn’t even have to maintain or purchase the devices.
Example Application: QThru
An innovative app called QThru (view case study) provides a slick self-checkout solution which utilizes Scandit’s advanced barcode scanning technology. With Scandit’s cross-platform barcode scanning technology, retailers can rest assured that their solution will work well with the widest possible range of iOS and Android smartphones, including those that lack autofocus.
Step by Step Guide for Smartphone-based Self-checkout
So you’re convinced, it’s time to build app what needs to happen next?
1) Decide if you want to use an existing solution (like Qthru), hire a solution provider to build one, or build one in house.
2) Decided which platforms you’d like the app to run on.
3) Assess which systems you need the app to work with. Do you use an integrated retail system? How will this connect to your point-of-sale system? What kind of database does the app need to make changes to inventory?
4) Identify the features you need, and find the best software components for the job.
(Our Barcode Scanner SDK and Product API are perfect for self-checkout solutions).
5) Build and test your app (or watch it being built).
6) Deploy and Enjoy.
Need help making a decision? Our sales staff is here to help. Contact us for more information.