For consumers, one of the most common complaints in retail shops is queueing times at checkout lines. Shorter perceived waiting times improve service experience, customer loyalty and market share. Shoppers who need to wait more than 5 minutes at check out will try shopping elsewhere. This results in high costs and lost profit losses for retailers around the world.
Love shopping, hate queues
The EU-funded YouBeep project developed a mobile shopping and checkout solution that reduces checkout times and improves the shopping experience of customers. “We help retailers worldwide to digitise their customers’ shopping experience by providing an ultramodern and attractive shopping journey while getting to know their shopping habits and interests,” says João Rodrigues, CEO of project coordinator Xhockware, a Portuguese start-up that develops innovative retail solutions. “We successfully tackle one of the biggest complaints and friction points in physical retail: queueing and waiting time at checkout.” The YouBeep team designed a mobile app enabling shoppers to scan products directly from shelves with their smartphones. They scan the check-in QR code at the entrance, and scan product barcodes before placing them in the cart. When finished, they can go to any available counter and scan the checkout QR code. The whole process can be completed in less than 60 seconds. Furthermore, reducing the checkout time to 30 seconds leads to operational savings. Among the many benefits, app users can create, manage and share shopping or wish lists. They can add loyalty cards, have access to points, rewards and savings, and get personalised coupons from retailers and brands. E-receipts organised by shop and time means never losing track of purchase history. “YouBeep allows customers to take full control of their shopping journey by scanning, price checking, list creating, voucher/coupon redeeming, loyalty card validating and finally, paying for their purchase,” notes Rodrigues.
Direct communication channel between retailer and shopper
The patented plug-in device is compatible with every existing manned or self-checkout system in the world, with zero point of sale (POS) software integration. Checked-out items are processed at or by the external unit. After validation, these items are forwarded to the retailer’s POS system that completes the payment process, as well as all loyalty aspects of the sale. This means that billing and accounting are handled by the retailer, ensuring total transparency and full compatibility with all work processes and procedures in place. By closely observing some similar underlying needs, the project team decided to add a new product/service to its umbrella that wasn’t initially foreseen. “We manufactured and designed custom smart self-checkout units that allow retailers to gradually move into a full scan&go mobile reality without creating a user technology gap between a traditional and advanced shopping reality,” explains Rodrigues. Xhockware is planning a full roll-out of the solution with two major European retailers over the next 18 months. “We will deploy the same implementation roadmap across this one particular target group around the world and position ourselves as a global provider of such a solution,” concludes Rodrigues.
YouBeep, shopping, checkout, retailer, customer, shopping experience, shopper