Can Self-Checkout At Retail Stores Become A Success In India?

Barcode Readers

Barcode Readers And The Retail Experience

When Amazon Go was first announced, it was predicted that the next wave of shopping experience will sweep the globe.

Every customer’s wish came true when they could stroll into a store, pick up their purchase, and leave without having to wait in enormous lines to pay their payment.

Back home in India, self-checkout with smartphones is slowly becoming a retail reality, with several businesses merging the offline-online experience and launching self-checkout choices, despite the fact that many shops are still wary of the idea.

Though self-checkout and the wonders like that achieved by Amazon Go are pretty new, barcodes and barcode readers had been around for quite some time.

Barcode and barcode readers practically revolutionized the retail industry when they were first introduced.

They made inventory management and billing much more convenient. Barcode readers have come a long way from the 60s and 70s when they were first introduced in the U.S.

They can now be found at almost any supermarket or even small grocery stores. With the growing number of stores that require barcode readers that range from handheld ones to ones that are the size of a full mirror, the demand for barcode readers has been soaring.

According to Reports and Data the barcode reader market will continue to grow exponentially over the coming years.

This is especially true because of burgeoning markets in countries like India where the supermarket experience is still relatively new.

Self-Checkout Can Make The Retail Experience Smoother

One of the disadvantages of a supermarket is the long queue at the checkout. Self-checkout has therefore become popular in most advanced economies.

Though the process is more or less simple, in India self-checkout did not become a big thing because apparently the country simply has too many people for certain process automation.

For instance, vending machines have a slim chance of becoming popular in India because there are simply too many people vending all sorts of goods.

A handful of businesses, especially ones that are from overseas were adopting self-checkout since the past two years. But the process finally received the impetus it needed during the pandemic.

India On Its Way To Adopt The Self-Checkout Trend

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, the concept of contactless shopping, dining, and payments has taken hold.

New devices are being developed by startups and corporations that guarantee low or no interaction for a safe experience.

Sunnybee, a retail company based in Chennai, has launched contactless check-out at a grocery store. Sunnybee has built a name for itself as a produce storage farm.

Watasale, a retail business in Kochi, Kerala, started the cashier-less shopping service two years ago, but the technology seems to be gathering steam only recently.

This appears to be the future of Indian shopping in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Kirana retailers are more willing to adopt technology than ever before.

Instead of paying with cash or engaging with a cashier at the counter, customers can just scan and pay themselves.

A touchscreen panel and a billing printer are included in the self-checkout counter. Consumers are still afraid of many interactions in a business, thus the solution was implemented.

The self-checkout technology is more widely used in India by French athletic goods company Decathlon. Decathlon  tries to make shopping enjoyable for its customers by providing a phy-gital experience.

Customers can download the app and search for things they need. Customers can use the ‘Find your product’ tool to find the exact location of a product on shelves and check it out.

They can scan the bar code to get product information and even user reviews if they want to buy.

Customers can select the size, fill out payment information (credit card / debit card), and put to basket, just like they can when shopping online.

When customers have completed their shopping, the app generates a charge. Customers can check out of the store by placing their purchases near a sensor in the exit gates.

Future Scope For Self-Checkout In India

Perpule, a two-year-old Bengaluru based business created the is used by Decathlon, Big Bazaar, Spar, HyperCity, Nilgiris, and Heritage stores.

The app allows shoppers to find what they want, scan the barcodes, and pay for it. In addition, the company claims that its self-checkout service may reduce wait times in physical locations from 15 minutes to two minutes.

As part of what it calls the Perpule Platform, it offers a variety of services customised to either customers or retailers.

Perpule has just expanded its self-checkout option to corporate cafeterias, allowing customers to skip the line. Infosys, as well as over 20 other corporate clients, have signed on to the company’s platform, which allows employees to order and pay for breakfast and lunch.

In 2021 the American e-commerce company Amazon announced the acquisition of Perpule. According to a regulatory filing, Amazon Technologies paid USD 14.7 million in cash for the Indian business.

Perpule’s employees are expected to be compensated for an additional USD 5 million or so by the corporation.

The acquisition is expected to add renewed impetus to the self-checkout app that Perpule was on the path of popularising in India.

As literacy and urbanization across India continues to rise, it is expected that more such technologies will find a strong footing in the country.

As the lines between online and offline blur, self-checkout options could generate more footfalls for brick-and-mortar stores and enhance the buying experience, while it’s cost effective for retailers.

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Research Author: Paroma Bhattacharya

Paroma Bhattacharya has dabbled in the realm of content production for over half a decade and possesses extensive experience in penning down pieces related to healthcare, technology, banking, and a wide range of other industry verticals.

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