London-based research firm forecasts self-checkout deployments to nearly triple globally by 2012
DULUTH, Georgia – NCR Corporation ranks number one worldwide in the self-checkout market, according to Retail Banking Research (RBR), a strategic research and consulting firm headquartered in London.
The newly published “Global EPOS and Self-Checkout 2009” report from RBR shows that the adoption of self-checkout solutions – which enable shoppers to scan, bag and pay for goods themselves – has accelerated over the last two years. In addition, RBR predicts that the installed base of self-checkouts is due to nearly triple by 2012 to reach 250,000 units globally.
More than 140 retailers from 12 different retail segments and over 20 countries use NCR SelfServ™ Checkout. NCR attributes its market leadership to its track record of continuous innovation and a consultative approach to helping retailers meet key business objectives with their self-checkout strategies.
“Two out of three self-checkouts shipped in the last five years are from NCR,” said Mike Webster, NCR vice president and general manager for Retail and Hospitality. “This includes a ‘who’s who’ list of retailers. They value NCR’s relentless focus on improving store productivity and customer service levels. We are achieving this not only through innovations in the technology itself, but also the way in which it is deployed and managed.”
Prior to a deployment, NCR’s Customer Experience Consulting team looks at traffic patterns through the store’s existing checkouts and the floor space they occupy. The consultants are then able to model the optimum mix of assisted- and self-service lanes and their ideal location to minimize queuing at peak times.
Stores that deploy NCR SelfServ Checkout are able to make more checkouts – assisted-service plus self-service lanes – available to reduce one of shoppers’ top frustrations, the time they spend waiting in line. NCR self-checkout customers report checkout wait times in their stores are reduced as much as 40 percent.
“Consumers tend to shop where they know they can get out of the store quickly and easily,” Webster continued. “Since self-checkout enables them to do just that, it can help build customer and brand loyalty, which is important in today’s competitive marketplace.”
NCR believes the current challenging economic conditions will provide a stimulus to the wider adoption of self-checkouts. Because one cashier can manage four or more self-checkouts, the technology frees up staff to meet customer demand for improved service levels in-store. This includes reducing out-of-stocks and helping shoppers locate items.
NCR has also brought a series of innovations to its self-checkouts, designed to make them faster and easier to use. For example, NCR’s latest scanner technology is able to read small and difficult-to-read bar codes consistently by generating more scan lines at greater lengths. NCR completely reinvented its scanner user interface with self-service in mind.
Industry initiatives, such as the introduction of GS1™ DataBar™ bar codes, are expected to improve self-checkout ease of use even further. These new bar codes can be over 50 percent smaller than current EAN/UPC bar codes, making them suitable for use on loose produce, such as fruit and vegetables. This can allow consumers to simply scan such items, rather than search for them on the screen or key in codes.
To support retailers’ environmental initiatives, NCR’s self-checkout software now offers an optional “Own Bag” button – a feature that detects the weight of the customer’s re-usable bag on the security scale. Further, NCR SelfServ Checkout is the first and only self-checkout solution to offer two-sided thermal (2ST) printing to reduce paper consumption and waste.
Improvements have also been made to the payment process on NCR’s latest self-checkouts. Shoppers can insert loose change in bulk rather than feeding individual coins one at a time. Cash inputs/outputs are arranged side by side and feature “follow-me” lighting guides, so they can be used more quickly. The units also feature high-speed cash recycling technology that can reduce retailers’ currency and coin replenishment requirements.
RBR is a leading research and consulting firm specialized in the areas of cards, payments and automation in the banking, retail and hospitality sectors. Based in London, RBR serves clients across more than 100 countries worldwide through premium research reports, consulting, newsletters and conferences.
About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a global technology company leading how the world connects, interacts and transacts with business. NCR’s assisted- and self-service solutions and comprehensive support services address the needs of retail, financial, travel, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, gaming and public sector organizations in more than 100 countries. NCR (www.ncr.com) is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.
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