Let’s say it’s the end of a work day and you’re on your way home, but there’s nothing in the fridge for dinner. Or you’re out with friends on a weekend afternoon and you could use a snack. Or, maybe it’s a school night and your kid has a cough, but you’re out of medicine. You know what you want and you don’t want to wait. Seeing people wait to pay a cashier or scan items at a self-checkout station can be enough to make you go elsewhere or forego the purchase entirely.
Seamless, Friction-Free Shopping
Retailers understand that making you wait to pay can be bad for business, so they’re finding ways to eliminate manned checkout stations. The goal is to create a seamless, friction-free shopping experience, so consumers who are short on time get what they need without having to wait.
This new approach, which goes by several names, including autonomous retail, cashierless stores, and unmanned retail, can also lower costs and expand market reach. Unmanned stores still need employees to service them – someone needs to restock, clean, and maintain the shop – but not having cashiers means operating costs are lower and the store can use a smaller footprint.
Experience it for Yourself
This past January, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NXP demonstrated the Smart Market, an RFID-driven solution for autonomous shopping experiences. The demo let people experience the convenience of “grab and go” shopping, and created some serious buzz on the topic.
The next opportunity to experience NXP’s approach to autonomous retail is at RFID Journal Live!, taking place April 2 to 4 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NXP is a platinum sponsor of the event, which is the largest tradeshow dedicated to RFID, and will have staff on hand to highlight the RAIN RFID and NFC solutions that enable cashierless shopping.
The Benefits are Clear
There are several reasons why retailers are so interested in autonomous shopping. To begin, unmanned stores can create a competitive advantage in places that typically pose a challenge to brick-and-mortar retail. That is, in areas where stores might struggle, because building permits are hard to obtain, rents are high, the labor market is tight, profit margins are low, or the customer base is small, unmanned stores can deliver a significant competitive advantage.