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BRIEF 1: HOW CAN RETAILERS ENABLE FRICTIONLESS SHOPPING AND MANAGE THE RISK OF LOSS?

BACKGROUND & CONTEXT:

Shoppers today increasingly demand a seamless and hassle-free in-store experience, particularly when it comes to check-out. That means offering shoppers a speedy and convenient way to pay for their goods and leave the store. Self-scan technology, which provides more choice and convenience to shoppers, is now commonplace. In fact, for some retailers, self-checkouts, scan-as-you-go, scan-bag-and-go, tap-and-go, and the emerging near zero friction technologies can represent over half of all transactions.

While this technology can lead to an improved customer experience, it also presents its own challenges from a loss perspective. Sometimes customers make mistakes. For example, if they are not familiar with the technology, they might mis-scan or accidentally fail to scan items (non-malicious loss). Unassisted checkouts can also be seen as an easier target for theft, for example with items intentionally being placed in bags without being scanned (malicious loss).

So, as frictionless shopping becomes a growing focus, how can retailers continue to deliver a great customer experience while reducing the risk of loss from customer error, missed-scans, non-scans, duplicate scanning, theft, fraud and walk-outs?

Click this link for a research report on mobile self scan technology

Take a look at these video examples from Amazon, Tesco, Kroger and Walmart

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

We’re looking for innovation which could help retailers enhance the unassisted checkout experience in a cost-effective way while reducing the risk of non-malicious and malicious loss. Ideally, we’re looking for interventions that prevent and/or reduce the chance of mistakes happening in the first place. For example, helping the shopper know when an error has occurred, and making it easy for retailers to detect errors and theft in real time.

Ideally, the interventions will need to work in a retail context where there are fewer store associates on the shop floor.


QUESTIONS WE’RE SEEKING TO ANSWER:

In relation to unassisted checkouts...
● How do retailers reduce the risk that shoppers can mistakenly think they have scanned an item when they have in fact not scanned it?
● How can retailers help shoppers make fewer mistakes when scanning multiple quantities of the same item?
● How can retailers and shoppers be aware when items will not scan / are not scannable?
● How can retailers help make it easy for shoppers to scan the heavy and bulky items that get placed at the bottom of the trolley and sometimes get forgotten?
● How can retailers help the shopper and the store associates detect errors in the scanned basket before they leave the store?
● How can retailers help the shopper and the store associates know that the item scanned is the actual item registered as being scanned?
● How can technology give shoppers the assurance they’ve correctly paid for items?
● How can technology help identify to store colleagues those baskets that should be audited and checked before they leave the store?
● How can retailers ensure that when the shopper voids items that the void is accurate and appropriate?
● How can shoppers be trained or guided to more accurately scan products and extra support be made available to those who repeatedly make mistakes?
● How can technology help retailers detect and deal with walk-aways?