Transformation of the checkout area and payment methods is one of the hottest areas of applying advanced technology. There are dozens of variants in use. One of the new formats that has already become commonplace is self-service checkouts. In addition, payment via mobile application is gaining popularity: customers scan and pay for goods themselves using their phones.
Different types of customer recognition are also used for automatic chargeback.
Recognition by loyalty card/application.
Logging into the store using the app – the principle of Amazon Go network.
The use of biometrics: face recognition (SelfieToPay technology) – already used in Russian networks such as Magnit and Lenta; palm recognition (Amazon One).
Such innovations provide users with additional convenience and security, and stores with reduced staff costs and additional data on customer behavior.
Separate order picking area
In a few years, online ordering could account for about a third of all retail turnover. Under these conditions, the size of the order pickup area should grow – it could also take up to a third of the sales floor. In addition, it may be necessary to divide it into several areas. Here’s what shoppers think about it.
Inventory management is one of our favorite areas for automation. And the first thing that comes to mind is Amazon’s smart warehouses, where most operations are performed without human intervention. The starting condition for automation is barcodes, which are on most products. Often, accounting units are additionally equipped with RFID tags, which simplify the navigation in the warehouse, and the rooms themselves are equipped with video cameras and robots. The result is the automation of warehouse accounting, order picking and delivery. And the use of AI based on the collected data makes it possible to forecast sales and plan upcoming purchases.
In chains where delivery takes a significant share of turnover, some stores may operate in a darkstore format, that is, a store without a sales floor, where only orders are collected for subsequent delivery. The format is close to a warehouse or distribution center, but is usually located in a residential area. This is necessary to deliver orders to customers as quickly as possible. Darkstores can open on the site of regular “convenience stores.
In contrast to darkstores, stores on high-traffic streets can act as brand showcases. The share of purchases directly through them is small, but customers get acquainted with the goods, try things on, consult with salespeople, and the actual purchase often takes place later, already in an online format.
Such stores have a lounge area with a café, hold exhibitions or meetings with famous people. Technological innovations also serve to attract customers. These may include display windows with digital components, augmented reality elements in the hall for personal selection of goods, etc.
New solutions in retail appear every day. Not all ideas are easy to apply, much depends on the specific project and is determined by the size, type and location of the property. Understanding what “stuffing” can be used in the retail space will help its owner and tenant to more accurately calculate the costs and possible profits from the project.
The share of e-commerce will obviously grow. But online commerce does not kill traditional stores; it transforms and complements them. And this means that the retail real estate sector remains a sought-after area for investment.