In today’s retail landscape, self-checkout is already well established. But you can do much more when you deliver it via a smartphone application.
As part of this, we have helped retailers around the world develop mobile self-checkout applications.
Here are just a few.
Our work for these brands covers various requirements and KPIs – from introducing contactless shopping to delivering a personalized shopping experience.
In this guide, we highlight the main benefits of self-checkout and showcase real-world examples of innovative mobile self-checkout apps developed by our clients.
Discover how top retailers have achieved the following mobile self-checkout benefits:
- An excellent in-store experience
- Reduced costs through better implementation
- Improved revenue through additional features
- Driven better adoption across the multi-channel experience
Maximize sales potential with mobile self-checkout
There’s nothing like a big number to focus the mind. According to VDC, handheld self-checkout solutions can increase total store revenue by 10%.
Revenue can also be extended by upselling and cross-selling using scanning apps.
According to Insider Trends, there’s a potential 25% growth in upselling, as well as a tendency towards bigger baskets. While Boston Consulting Group found adding product reviews can increase conversions by x2.7.
Guitar Center utilizes product information for smarter selling
One store that integrated product reviews into its app is the US store Guitar Center. It provides in-store, real-time product information to customers at its 280+ stores – all through its mobile app.
Guitar Center has a content-rich e-commerce website where customers learn about the instruments. They turned to smart data capture when they wanted to make this information available in a store environment.
Customers use their mobile app – developed with Barcode Scanner SDK – to scan barcodes and overlay information on the device’s screen. Customers can view videos, reviews, customer ratings, and recommendations for related products – all by scanning product barcodes.
“We wanted to make it easy for customers to make the most informed decision possible in the store and at the same time set up a longer-term sales cycle when an in-store purchase is not made.” Josh Feldman, Guitar Center’s Senior Product Manager for Mobile
Customers can also look for similar products, and alternative colors and check availability at other Guitar Center stores. They then order through the app.
There is also a wish list feature and a product alert option for when an item is in stock or is reduced in price.
Reduce costs with smartphone-based self-scanning
Mobile self-scanning can help reduce costs and do more for less. A good example of this is avoiding the need for expensive handheld scanners.
Dedicated devices are a costly option, especially when they might be under-utilized during non-peak periods.
With Scandit, you can avoid this pitfall. It allows you to turn any smartphone into an enterprise-grade scanning device. This comes with the added benefit that customers prefer to use their own devices, rather than one somebody has just placed in a dock.
Globus focuses on smartphones in self-checkout drive
In 2013, German retail group Globus CZ became the Czech Republic’s first retailer to offer customers self-scanning. In the beginning, it used dedicated scanning devices to scan, create digital shopping lists, and check product prices.
After a few years, the scheme’s popularity had risen to the point that Globus realized it would need additional dedicated scanners.
But while the store wanted to give its customers self-scanning, it wanted to avoid this outlay. It was aware many scanners would be idle outside of peak shopping times like Easter and Christmas.
So Globus went for a different option. It built a smartphone app using Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK and gave each customer their own equivalent of a dedicated device. Plus, the ability to customize each customer experience.
This strategy brought a number of benefits.
There was a lower total cost of ownership over dedicated scanners. More than that, it meant it had theoretically scaled self-checkout to its whole customer base at a minimal cost.
“Scandit is just way above the rest in terms of performance. After testing, Globus CZ rolled out the ‘Můj Globus’ app using the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK.” Jiří Budinský, Head of Product Department at Globus CZ
Colruyt puts scanning performance first
A vital requirement of any mobile self-checkout app is that it scans quickly and correctly every time. One or two missed scans can lead to a customer dumping your application – possibly for good.
So getting the scanning right is crucial. No matter what lighting conditions, barcode symbologies, or smartphone model.
European retailer Colruyt created a smartphone scanning application they hoped would work well for customers.
The initial version performed well overall, but it failed when it came to scanning performance. One particular issue was the harsh artificial lighting found in most stores. This creates a reflective light glare on products and makes barcode scanning challenging for the average scanning engine.
Colruyt brings in Scandit
So Colruyt turned to Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK. The app returned exceptional performance and substantially reduced failed scans. This was borne out by the basket sizes, which showed customers were using the app for big and small transactions.
“We were concerned the open-source scanner wouldn’t satisfy our needs. In a realistic setting, such as a store, lighting can be an issue. Our customers are not used to scanning product barcodes themselves, so we wanted to make sure we had the best barcode reader available in our app,” Kristof Schraepen, Digital Transformation Manager, Colruyt Group
Since the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK is compatible with a wide range of iOS and Android devices, including older models with lower-resolution commodity cameras, there have been few app adoption issues for Colruyt Group’s diverse customer base.
See below how our Barcode Scanner SDK performs in an actual store environment.
Elevate in-store experiences with mobile self-checkout apps
Retail success is also dependent on customer experience. On the one hand, a store like the Guitar Center is going to be a pleasant browsing experience for guitar aficionados.
On the other, by necessity, grocery shopping needs to be seamless and wait-free.
According to Forrester’s ‘Consumers Cringe At Slow Checkout’ report, 84% of customers say checkout wait times are as influential as price or location when it comes to returning to a store. While only 23% are satisfied with the length of the lines in the stores they visit.
Mobile self-checkout has emerged as the solution.
It first hit the headlines when Amazon launched Amazon Go. Here the consumer logs in with their smartphone on the way in and pays for what they take out.
But retailers do not need Amazon-like resources to launch an “autonomous” store.
Valora introduces staff-less stores for less
In 2019 European convenience store Valora, introduced Valora Avec, a small-format store that operates entirely with mobile self-checkout.
To maximize space, Valora removed the checkout space and created a self-checkout app to handle the payment. Scandit’s ID scanning capabilities were used to allow customers to quickly register personal details. It means a customer can sign up with a simple scan, and make a purchase through the app in just minutes.
Staff are available during peak times to deal with any questions about the app.
“The customer experience plays a central role in the whole Avec convenience concept of Valora. The process begins with registration and continues through customer contact and error handling and on to payment,” Dominique Martin, Manager – Consumer Application, Valora
Coop DK moves towards contactless shopping
Coop DK, Denmark’s largest grocery retailer, launched its Scan and Pay application in 2016. The app proved popular and has steadily grown.
Yet it was with the pandemic that it really came into its own. In many stores, self-checkout usage doubled in just a few months. The app now has over 1.6 million downloads.
As more people shop in this way, the more they will embrace technological innovation as part of their shopping experience.
Drive adoption through seamless performance and communication
As with any application, adoption is a major challenge. Many things feed into this, such as performance, information, onboarding, and even a decent wifi connection in your store. However, the overriding factor is scan performance.
Scanning is the one function people will use all the time. If it doesn’t work or causes frustration, people will stop using it.
Coop DK focuses on performance with a strong marketing campaign
When it launched its mobile self-checkout application, Coop DK put a big emphasis on performance. But it also made an effort to understand why customers would want to use self-checkout and shop like a ‘rock star’.
In the video below, Coop DK head of innovation (payments and Scan and Pay) Lotte Lund Larsen explained how these two elements dovetailed with each other.
“Being a customer, I want to shop and do my purchases at my own pace without interruptions and I want to skip the line. It’s a self-service solution so you are giving all the control and [sic] hard work to the customer. If it doesn’t work then it is a very very bad experience.” Lotte Lund Larsen, Coop DK Head of Innovation
Leverage mobile self-checkout to boost omnichannel take-up
Retailers around the world are focusing on boosting omnichannel operations and improving their overall cross-platform experience.
Despite being an in-store application, mobile self-checkout is an excellent way to bring customers into a store’s omnichannel ecosystem.
There is extensive research that demonstrates omnichannel customers will shop more with that store. In fact, according to BI Intelligence, omnichannel customers spend on average three times more than single-channel customers.
This is backed up in our mobile self-scanning webinar, The State of Self-Scanning in Europe. In it, research specialist Forrester said integrating the digital and in-store experience is a crucial focus point for retailers right now.
An excellent way to achieve this is to add our Augmented Reality and MatrixScan features into your app. This allows for the integration of personalized coupons, product reviews, and other information.
Decathlon raised in-app purchases with mobile self-checkout
Constrained by costly real estate in Singapore, Decathlon wanted to introduce a way for customers to access and view all products and also make shopping convenient and fast.
Maximizing floor space was important and with a growing product range, it was a challenge to stock and sell items.
Decathlon implemented a self-checkout app powered by Scandit Smart Data Capture.
The app offered an omnichannel experience and ensured that customers had access to all Decathlon products whether they were browsing in store or online, and eliminated queues with faster checkouts.
“Shopping on their smartphones should be a consistent and convenient experience, irrespective of the environment they scan the barcode, or the mobile device they use. While we expected a 99.9 percent scanning accuracy, Scandit delivered 100 percent accuracy, a feature that encourages more customers to use our scanning-based smartphone app.” Gael Robin, E-Commerce & Mobile Solutions Product Owner, Decathlon
As a result, the app has had over 200,000 downloads and in-app purchases account for over 10 percent of digital sales.
Beyond self-checkout: how mobile self-scanning features lead to rapid consumer adoption and engagement
As we pointed out in our guide How to 10x Your Self-Scanning App, there is much more to a mobile self-scanning app than Scan. Pay. Go. Yes, self-checkout is about convenience, but there are opportunities to add many more features.
Our clients have used our technology to help create more than just a mobile self-checkout app.
Yuka builds nutritional information into its app
Yuka builds nutritional information into its app
In January 2017, Yuka launched a mobile app that lets consumers check the nutritional value of food products on the shelf.
A shopper scans the product’s barcode. The app then evaluates the nutritional value on a scale ranging from red to green and displays the information on-screen.
Red indicates levels of high levels of fat, salt, sugar and additives. If a product is determined to be unhealthy, the app will recommend alternatives that contain more nutritious ingredients.
A later iteration enabled the app to scan products such as soap, shampoo and skin cream to help check the quality of cosmetics.
“The grade on the Yuka app is an important factor in consumer purchasing decisions. We have played an important part in the industry’s efforts to reduce salt, sugar and additives in food products. We’re part of the bigger picture.” Francois Martin, CTO and co-founder of Yuka.
Weeshop changes the way consumers shop using AR
With the objective of educating the consumer, Weeshop provides shoppers with information on the healthiness, environmental sustainability and social impact of products as they scan them in store.
Weeshop integrated the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK and MatrixScan Augmented Reality into their self-checkout app to deliver a fast and accurate scanning solution.
It means Weeshop customers can surface information on product healthiness and sustainability directly on their devices via AR to make informed choices. A traffic light system is used to assign a color to different product characteristics for quick analysis and comparisons.
“The feedback we had from our customers is like ‘wow’. The first time they try it they realize how good it is. As they can scan the products directly in real-time, the user experience is not interrupted which I think is revolutionary with respect to the basic scan.” Devin Visani, Co-founder and CEO, Weeshop
Make your mobile self-checkout app as good as it can be
Mobile self-checkout can help you achieve your objectives no matter whether they are financial, customer-focused, or both. It will make a huge difference to your business and is safer for shoppers.
Recent challenges and trends have led to a substantial increase in online shopping and contactless technology in store.
Mobile self-checkout is a way to bridge the convenience of online shopping with the experience of being in a store.
Scandit can help you create a great mobile self-checkout experience that adds to the bottom line. Our Barcode Scanner SDK will turn your customers’ smartphones into high-performance and cost-efficient barcode scanners.
But, as you will see by looking at some of our other solutions, it can do so much more.