Self check out involves the process of allowing the customers to pay for their retail without the assistance of a retailer staff. Self checkouts are carried out by self check out machines and we commonly find them in large grocery stores. Since the end of 2008 about 92,600 self check out machines were made available worldwide, it is estimated this number would reach 430,000 by the year 2014.
Self Check Outs in Detail
The self check out system allows the customer to pay for his or her purchases without the assistance of a cashier or a retail staff. How is this done? Simply by letting the customer scan the bar codes of the purchased item and having them identify the item as fruits, vegetables, dried goods, etc. The identification is usually carried out through a touch screen monitor or display. The items are weighed (if weighing is applicable) and are placed on the bagging area. In this area, the weight is compared with the data entered previously and if the data matches the weight of the items, the customer can then proceed. Is some systems, a conveyer belt is used which moves the items and verifies them at the same time. Usually, an attendant is assigned to watch over the machines and the customer items as well, the attendants are there to prevent any attempts of theft and also to watch over items that have age restrictions.
In the self check out system, payment is made through cards: debit cards, credit cards, EFTPOS and electronic food assistance cards, payments can also be made through cash via coin slots, in store gift cards and bank note scanners. Coupons can also be used as most of them contain barcodes although it may require inputs from an attendant.
What are the Advantages of the Self Check out System?
The self check out system can be beneficial to the customer as it can reduce check out time. Lines would empty much faster and customer is saved from waiting for a very long customer line. The customer also has the option to check out items on the best self checkout lanes. The retailer can also benefit from this system, as the staffing requirements can be reduced since only one attendant is required to monitor four to six lanes at one time.
What are the Cons?
The main disadvantage of this system is its vulnerability to shoplifting. It is important to note thought, that many of these attempts were detected by the machine or by the monitoring system that accompanies it, techniques such as not putting the items on the scales or replacing the tags of the items can be detected the system supervisor. In 2007, a man was caught replacing the tag of a plasma TV to that of a DVD in hopes of purchasing it in a cheaper price by using the self check out system.
Alternatives to the Self Check out System
Since the system can be vulnerable to theft, other alternative systems are developed. One alternative system allows customers to scan and bag the items during shopping by using a portable barcode scanner. After the shopping is finished, the barcode scanner is placed at a checkout kiosk, the information from the barcode scanner will be fed to the kiosk, often done with a loyalty card from the customer, the customer pays, receives the receipt at the same area. This system is maintained by RFIDs.
Self checkout systems also garnered significant criticisms; one of them is the added hassle of errors such as “unexpected item” displayed on bagging area screens. Experts argue that the system also prevents the retailer-customer interaction.
This article is written by Don Williams, a web based writer of articles on home, health, lifestyle, budgeting and the like. After a whole stress in a job, he gets serious on the www.opendoorloan.co.uk, as a reward to a well attended labour. Follow the link he created.