Self-Service: Where Retailer and Shopper Goals Overlap

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Self-Service: Where Retailer and Shopper Goals Overlap

By Joe Skorupa - 05/22/2019

Resolving the brick-and-mortar dilemma of divergent shopper and retailer goals is an urgent task for retailers. Fortunately, there is one strategy where they overlap – self-service technologies.

Consumers today want brick-and-mortar stores to be more convenient and easier to shop. Retailers want this, too, but they want it in a way that makes stores more productive, efficient and profitable.

Since today’s retail environment is dominated by store closings and a tight labor market it is no surprise self-service technologies have become central elements of store upgrade plans and redesigns.

Illustrating these opposing viewpoints in a Venn diagram would call attention to many differences in these goals, but a few areas would show clear overlap. Two of these are simplifying and streamlining the store experience. These are goals shoppers and retailers want and self-service technology accomplishes both.

That’s the conclusion of the just released Targeted Research report “Streamlining the Store to Simplify Shopping.”

The Self-Service Paradigm

Since today’s retail environment is dominated by store closings and a tight labor market it is no surprise self-service technologies have become central elements of store upgrade plans and redesigns. In fact, the most successful stores in the marketplace today strike a balance between full-service functions and self-service options.

The line between these two models is not clearly defined and will differ for each retail segment and customer base. However, there is no doubt that today’s tech savvy and convenience-driven shoppers are compelling retailers to shift the balance toward increasing self-service capabilities.

Here are a few key takeaways from the report:

  • One of the key findings in the study is that retailers are split on the topic of self-service technologies in stores when it comes to improving both the shopping experience and the financial performance of stores. There is one big block of retailers that embrace the impact of self-service technologies and a second big block that is not yet convinced. Few retailers are in the middle and undecided.
  • Of retailers that currently deploy self-service technologies in stores 20% deploy them in a majority of stores and 32% deploy them in some stores.
  • There are strong deployment numbers for self-service technologies – 38% of retailers plan to either add or increase self-service technologies in stores in the next 12 months and 14% have plans to do so in the next 24 months.
  • Checkout is the top choice by far for self-service technologies chosen by 70%. In second place was payment (52%) followed by price check (44%).

The report includes 14 charts, four specific recommendations and in-depth analysis. To download a copy of the full report click here.

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