Self Checkout Provides Better Service and Solves Labor Shortage Issues
While many of us are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, convenience stores continue to suffer longer-term problems, including labor shortages, product scarcity, and new gasoline-related issues resulting from the war in Ukraine. The best many store owners and managers can do is focus on returning more value to their customers to gain repeat business and word-of-mouth promotion. One technology many store owners are moving toward is self-checkout.
Self-checkout has become a popular solution in grocery stores for several years. Because of that, many consumers are very familiar with them and enjoy using the terminals to quickly pay for items without waiting in line or making small talk with the register attendant. According to PYMTS.com, 80% of surveyed shoppers said they like having “nontraditional” checkout options, and 66% are willing to try new options for self-checkout. The primary reason customers prefer self-checkout is for convenience–to check out more quickly without having to wait in line.
Using self-checkout technology reduces the need to have as many trained staff available. Rather than staffing multiple registers, one employee can serve as an attendant to supervise the self-checkout area and help troubleshoot any issues customers may have. By using a fully-integrated POS system, the technology will automatically ring up the correct prices and can calculate discounts for all store promotions (B1G1, for example.) Training for staff members focuses on providing support to customers unfamiliar with the technology and assisting with any problems that may arise. In this manner, one employee can easily support several self-checkout units.
One fear some C-store owners have is the risk of theft at a self-checkout area. If allowed to ring up their own sales, what keeps shoppers honest? The good news is that most shoppers are ethical and most shortages that occur are legitimate mistakes made using the technology. Regardless, there are several mitigation techniques stores can use, including:
- Ensuring the attendant remains alert and acknowledges customers in the checkout area.
- Using scales to check the product code matches the product in the bagging area.
- Installing cameras at the register unit and in the general checkout area.
- Training employees on how to spot theft and what to do if they witness it.
Are you searching for ways to increase your convenience store profitability?
Consumer demands are evolving more quickly than ever before, with convenience on the top of their priority lists. Finding ways to make the shopping experience easier and faster with convenient pickup and delivery options is critical for success in today’s economy. What led to success before the COVID pandemic won’t likely be the key to your success in the future. It’s time to think differently and implement new strategies to meet your customers’ new needs.
If you’re looking for ways to improve the profitability of your convenience store, contact our experts at GP Energy. With decades of experience in the petroleum industry, we have the proven expertise your company needs to achieve extraordinary results. Give us a call and learn more about how we can help your business grow.