Over the past weeks, we‘ve been at the pulse of retail technology innovation, talking with many of the world’s largest retailers, leading researchers, and technology vendors. We’ve attended thought-provoking sessions at events such as EuroCIS and Shoptalk Europe and been on stage ourselves to share our perspective on the state and future of retail.
Change and Disruption
The future of retail arrived long before COVID. With the rise of e-commerce, retailers have been in need to transform their businesses to engage with customers across multiple channels and, even more so, to provide true omnichannel experiences. However, the pandemic catalyzed this development, encouraging consumers to purchase products online and explore new ways of shopping.
McKinsey found that 3 in 4 consumers switched to a new store, product, or buying method during the pandemic. As a result, e-commerce sales skyrocketed for many businesses. In the US, the e-commerce share of retail sales grew from 11.0% in 2019 to 15.3% in 2021 and is expected to hit 17.3 % in 2022. By 2025, this will have increased to 23.6%. (Sources: OBERLO, eMarketer)
The ability to quickly adapt to a rapidly changing retail landscape and retain customers in a period of disruption proved to be essential skills to stay and excel in business.
Omnichannel: Retailers Need to Deliver at all Touchpoints
For brick-and-mortar retailers, this has been a wake-up call to invest in their omnichannel mix and nail their in-store customer experience. And they are right in doing so. Today’s consumers are used to the manifold benefits of online shopping and expect the same level of convenience and speed when shopping in a physical store. A survey conducted among 2,000 UK shoppers found that 28% would only continue to shop the High Street if the in-store experience was on par with e-commerce alternatives, “putting technology and digital transformation that builds blended shopping experience at the heart of bricks-and-mortar retail’s future success.” (Source: Retail Revolution)
A great, easy, and very affordable way of increasing speed and convenience on the shop floor is mobile self-checkout, also known as Scan & Go. It allows customers to walk into the store, use their own smartphone to scan the products they want to buy, pay on the phone, and leave the store.
Scan & Go: Mobile Self-Checkout Becomes Mainstream
Scan & Go reduces friction in the customer journey and helps retailers increase revenue and operational efficiency. What’s more, mobile self-checkout can drive customers to the store. Here’s an example: if consumers wanting to buy something to eat during their lunch break have to choose between a grocery store with queues and one where they can skip the queue thanks to Scan & Go, the decision is quite easy. These and a variety of other elements are the reason why almost all large retail chains are currently working on or looking into Scan & Go.
In a world where consumers are online virtually 24/7, Scan & Go solutions are the final puzzle piece to a true omnichannel customer journey, Kevin Müller said in his talk at the Connected Retail Stage at EuroCIS 2022. If done right, Scan & Go can seamlessly integrate all the benefits customers know and love from online shopping with the physical experience only brick-and-mortar stores can offer. It allows retailers to engage customers at multiple touchpoints, in the store and at home, and cater to their individual needs.
Personalization: a Challenge for Brick-and-Mortar Retail
We know that 93% of consumers use smartphones. Many of them use it during shopping to look up product information and compare prices online. Scan & Go gives retailers a highly valuable opportunity to provide all the information customers seek in their own app and even provide them with value-added services tailored to their interests, preferences, and needs. (Source: Adyen)
The ability to deliver highly personalized shopping experiences has become a critical skill for retailers today. People not only want brands to “get them”, as Claire Valoti, VP EMEA at Snap Inc., put it at Shoptalk Europe 2022. 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions with the vast majority (76%) getting frustrated when they don’t find it. (Source: McKinsey)
Delivering personalized shopping experiences online is rather easy. But how can you create personalized offers and recommendations in a physical store? The answer is, once more, by tightly integrating Scan & Go into the physical in-store journey. With retailers knowing the complete shopping histories of their customers and understanding their preferences, they can turn their customers’ smartphones into portable digital signage platforms to display personalized recommendations, promotions, and ads.
To set themselves apart from the competition, brick-and-mortar retailers can integrate value-added services like personalized recipe recommendations for scanned products. If you are on a special diet or have intolerances, a service like that is invaluable. All ingredients could be added to a digital shopping list automatically to make shopping and scanning as convenient and efficient as possible. Check out Kevin Müller’s EuroCIS talk for even more examples.
Customer Loyalty: the Need to Create Ecosystems and Bond
All these examples show that retailers can no longer rely on solely offering great products. They also need to offer exceptional service quality and, ultimately, create shopping and lifestyle ecosystems to bond customers to their brand. Scan & Go is a great vehicle to achieve this and offers huge potential with regard to customer retention.
Florian Burgstaller, CEO at shopreme, explored how some of the world’s largest retailers use Scan & Go to drive customer retention and loyalty in his Retail Technology Stage session at EuroCIS 2022. His entire talk is available on demand.
Practical examples are an excellent way to see how all this can be successfully implemented. Some retailers have already done this really well. One is BILLA, a subsidiary of the REWE Group in Austria, with its JÖ loyalty program. Almost 50% of the Austrian population is part of this earn & burn program. Customers always see what they can redeem, available promotions, and how many points they have collected – all fully automated.
Another example is Douglas Scan & Go. Douglas has built a very strong loyalty program around its Douglas Beauty Card, owned by 44 million people. From the start, they have tightly integrated it with their Scan & Go solution and made it remarkably easy for customers to add their card. After scanning it with the Scan & Go app, the card is automatically added to their user profile. After that, all Beauty Card benefits are available directly in the app.
ROSSMANN is another great example of a successful integration of coupons with Scan & Go. In the ROSSMANN app, customers can not only see all available coupons at a glance but activate them directly in the Scan & Go journey.
It All Comes Down to Customer Experience
In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all approach in retail. More than ever, retailers need to deliver consistent experiences across channels with highly personalized product and service offerings. Scan & Go is a great way of bringing hyper-personalization into brick-and-mortar stores with low CapEx.
Scan & Go is more than just another checkout method. It is an integral part of a retailer’s ecosystem, tying together digital and analog elements to create modern customer experiences and foster brand loyalty.
Give it a try. Contact us and experience shopreme Scan & Go in a personal product demo.
 McKinsey: Next in Personalization 2021 Report
 oberlo.com: Ecommerce Share of Retail Sales (2020–2025)
 emarketer.com: Global Ecommerce Forecast 2021
 Retail Revolution: Trends Redefining Retail, 2022, p. 5.
 Adyen: Retail Report 2019