How would you describe the ideal shopping experience? And what’s the perfect end to this event? Gernot Hugl, Vice President Retail DACH at Diebold Nixdorf, knows that long lines and cumbersome loading and unloading of shopping carts are no longer acceptable in this day and age.
What do you expect at the checkout as a shopper?
Gernot Hugl: I expect the process to be fast, easy, time-efficient and effective. Self-checkouts and payment terminals are great options in this setting – I don’t have to wait and I control the speed in which I scan and bag my items. I like mobile self-scanning solutions even better. I can directly add items on my smartphone via an app and see my total as I go. Another benefit is that I don’t have to load, then unload and once again rebag my items when I am ready to pay. As a shopper, I simply want a smooth checkout process and positive shopping experience.
What are the current challenges with checkouts?
One major challenge are the ever-increasing demands of shoppers. They have gotten used to the freedoms and perks of online shopping: fast processes, personalized recommendations, and options. Consumers want to be the ones that choose the channel, payment and delivery method.
In the future, brick-and-mortar retailers must strengthen their efforts to offer customers any choices they have online in the offline setting. This omnichannel approach is already an option, and it leads to success. At Diebold Nixdorf, we offer software to deliver personalized shopping recommendations and experiences and smartly connect physical and digital touchpoints. Brick-and-mortar stores can be very successful using self-checkout solutions, digital payment options or the seamless integration of loyalty programs and coupon campaigns, making the in-store experience more convenient for customers.
What is your advice for retailers who aim to optimize their checkout processes?
To find optimization potential, you first have to analyze the status quo. Retailers should review their checkout process and identify any problems and settings where customers are unhappy because it takes too long, or because the process is over-complicated and they would prefer a more convenient and faster option. In addition, retailers should also identify missed opportunities. They should use findings from collected consumer behavior data and turn it into an advantage by optimizing their product assortment and personalizing the customer experience.
Interview: Inga Kuhlow