X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer, has designed a next generation self-checkout solution at its innovation lab. This is the first hardware and software product that X5 created all by itself, and the Company has already installed 67 devices at 11 Pyaterochka stores. Compared to similar self-service systems, X5’s machines cost less to mass-produce while offering superior functionality.
The next generation self-checkout terminals feature the latest technologies: a high-quality 22.5” Full HD multi-touch screen, larger-sized 2D scanner that promptly reads any barcode type, stereo speakers and a microphone for sound-based applications and voice services, and a 3D camera. The self-checkout machines are not equipped with banknote acceptors, meaning they do not require encashment services and they make purchases faster thanks to cashless payments. The design of the new generation self-checkout is based on similar machines at fast food chains, which have become a staple for the Russian consumer. Servicing and maintaining the device is considerably cheaper than third-party solutions, as it uses the same proprietary checkout software that is found in the hundreds of thousands of traditional checkouts operating at X5 stores.
The second implementation phase will include the integration of a weighing platform and installation of software for fast QR code payments. The self-checkout can be adapted to accommodate new usage scenarios and payment methods thanks to its 3D camera for Face ID purchases. The interface was developed using web technologies, making it possible to use the machines for advertising, promoting personalised offers, and interacting directly with the customer.
“Thousands of Pyaterochka shoppers can already enjoy the experience of using the new self-checkout machine, which significantly speeds up purchases, reduces queues, and improves checkout efficiency. It is an easily scalable solution that makes for an overall better store environment: it takes less resources to service more shoppers, who end up saving time and enjoying their purchase more,” said Ivan Melnik, innovations director at Х5 Retail Group.
A set of four to six self-service machines, which occupy the same amount of space as one traditional checkout can handle up to 30% of store traffic. Next generation self-checkouts help improve NPS (customer satisfaction), enhance cashiers’ performance and increase store throughput. Operating a set of several self-checkouts requires one assistant employee who walks customers through the process, including weighing products and, when necessary, monitoring the purchase and approving the sale of alcohol or tobacco. A pilot at the lab store showed that most frequent shoppers learn the accessible interface of the new self-checkout during their very first visit and then use the technology regularly.
After the first testing phase winds up on 30 September, the Company will collect customer feedback and make decisions on fine-tuning the product and rolling it out to other stores. X5 plans to bring the next generation self-checkouts to all of its formats.