Today, in almost every walk of life, we see the rise of self-service kiosks. The evolution toward self-service has been in the works for several years, but the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the trend. For retail, technology has opened up self-service opportunities in multiple shopping experience areas, from ordering to customizing to paying. Automated cash at kiosks can now handle many points along the transaction chain accurately and efficiently. For brick-and-mortar stores to survive the pandemic and beyond, they must incorporate new technology and change the customer mindset about the retail experience. The customer experience has never been more critical than it is today.
SELF SERVICE TREND
Even before the pandemic, retailers were expanding self-service options. Younger customers were the first to embrace anything automated, but many older customers still preferred in-person transactions. After nearly a year of living under a cloud of COVID19, most of the public has grown comfortable with automated processes. We now see many people seek out automation and actively avoid any personal contact when making purchases. Many customers enjoy the self-service experience so much that it influences where they choose to shop. Instead of relying on a store employee, customers can get almost everything they need from a kiosk. Automated cash at kiosks enhance the retail experience by:
- Price check/product lookup
- Product upsell or customization
- Special Promotions
- Bridal & Gift Registry
CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE SAFETY
The reduction of touchpoints and heightened awareness about hygiene is likely here to stay. Conditioned customers recognize safety measures when they enter a store to the time they leave the premises. Retailers must make every effort to show customers that sanitization protocols are being followed throughout the establishment.
There are several things that a retailer can do to show their efforts and make a positive impression on health-conscious customers. One solution is installing automated cash handling kiosks to eliminate the exchange of bills and coins between customers and workers. Although the risk of contracting an illness from touching money is minimal, the desire for hygiene is strong. Customer-facing cash payment kiosks allow buyers to pay with bills and coins without interacting with a cashier. The money is counted, sorted, and stored securely in the unit and does not need people to handle it. Traditional self-checkout solutions tend to be rigid in format and force retailers to deploy them with limited application. Self-serve kiosks with full cash recycling capability can be deployed almost anywhere in the store to allow customers better checkout experiences.
In many retail establishments, cash customers have to interact with a cashier, while card or app-paying customers enjoy a seamless experience. As a result, cash-paying customers are penalized with a longer transaction experience. Longer lines and forced contact with employees can make in-person shopping unpleasant for cash customers. This is most evident today in the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) / Fast Food segment, where self-serve kiosks are being deployed extensively. However, very few allow cash-paying customers a complete end-to-end transaction experience. Customer-facing kiosks that can manage cash and coin payments are fast, accurate, and efficient regardless of payment choice. Cash customers will return to a store or kiosk that can take their payment without added hassle. The result is repeat business and increased loyalty among this segment of customers.
SECURITY AND VISIBILITY
Complete payment kiosks offer retailers added security and visibility. The machines are unloaded and replenished by a designated employee, which dramatically decreases the number of touchpoints and people handling the cash. This also eliminates human error and the opportunity for employee theft. Retailers reduce shrink and increase profits. The technology included in cash-handling kiosks also allows real-time visibility of cash totals and simple integration and eliminates manual till reconciliation.
The brick-and-mortar stores that make it through this difficult period will be the ones that address the needs of our new normal while still fulfilling the desire for an in-person shopping experience. Self-service kiosks offer an innovative and long-term solution to bridge the divide between online and in-person shopping. They need to service ALL customers.
WEBINAR – REIMAGINE THE RETAIL PAYMENT EXPERIENCE
Learn more about how you can reimagine the retail experience with cash at kiosks at our upcoming webinar with ATMIA on Dec. 2.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many aspects of brick and mortar retail businesses. Some immediate and noticeable changes have been in-store layout, sanitization protocols, customer distancing, and payment options.
Join Vik Devjee on December 2nd at 11:00 CST to learn how you can reimagine the retail payment experience and how cash payments can be just as easy as a card payment!
What you will learn and objectives:
- How to challenge the meaning of cash payments at the point of sale (POS) and how to manage cash differently in a retail store
- Cash payments at (POS) no longer need to be so manual. There is a better way
- How consumers who pay in cash can enjoy the same “touchless” and hygienic benefits as those that pay by card or phone
- How to give all customers the same experience regardless of how they pay
- How to challenge the meaning of self-checkout…does it really have to be at the front of the store and in its current format?
- How cash handling can become more secure and less risky in a retail environment with new automated and secure consumer-facing solutions at the point of transaction
- How staff can become more productive and more comfortable when they don’t need to manage cash manually