Self-scanning AI solutions could help boost in-store payments post-Covid

POS systems
(Image credit: Photo by QuickOrder on Unsplash)

Retailers are banking on self-scanning payment solutions as one way of persuading consumers to return to stores in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to research from Scandit, two thirds of businesses in the retail sector think that the hygienic technology will appeal to shoppers. In-store scan-and-go options also allow consumers to maintain social distancing more effectively too.

Figures released today show that high street footfall is beginning to rise again (up by 10% in the week to Saturday January 23) and retailers are keen to keep the momentum going by introducing more measures aimed at improving the contactless in-store experience.

Scandit’s report reveals that 68.1% of retailers consider self-scanning on smartphones to be a viable option for shoppers if they return to stores following lockdown. Indeed, 27.3% reported that they’ve seen an increase in use of self-scanning options since the emergence of coronavirus.

Augmented reality

The public appears similarly enthusiastic about using a Scan and Go app, with 71% stating that they were interesting in trying the purchasing option. But many still prefer using their own smartphones for self-scanning, compared to dedicated in-store scanners.

Scandit offers a technology platform for mobile computer vision and augmented reality (AR) and surveyed 116 retail companies for the survey. Overall, 56% of respondents agreed their customers preferred app-based smartphone solutions over using a handheld scanner.

Either way, 59.5% of businesses reported they were seeing more demand for better levels of product information from shoppers. Scandit’s Scan and Go solution allows customers to find a product and get more details about it using AR. Retailers already using the Scan & Go tech are finding it a real benefit for customers, with 36.3% of outlets stating their shoppers were buying more as a result.

“Contactless retail was already becoming a trend before the pandemic - now it’s the new reality. Since COVID-19, some of our grocery customers have seen the number of mobile app-based Scan and Go transactions in their stores double or more,” said Samuel Mueller, CEO of Scandit.

“At the best of times, shoppers prefer not to have to queue at the checkout, and the ability to quickly grab what they need and get on with the rest of their day is appealing. The simplicity and speed of mobile self-scanning on a customer’s own smartphone makes this possible while maintaining distance from others, providing added confidence when shopping. These research findings point towards a steep acceleration in demand for exactly this type of experience,” he added.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.