A growing number of retailers are going down the self-scanning route for their retail customers, but how is that impacting on their shrinkage levels?
This is the next natural progressive step for retailers. It wasn't that long ago when a customer would have to ask a member of staff to get their items held behind a counter or had someone put petrol into their car. Now customers pick their own items in shops on open display and take the responsibility to pay for their petrol after they put it into their car.
There are 2 main types of self-scanning systems
There are a number of reasons that retailers are installing this new technology
A lot more research needs to be conducted to confirm the exact impact the self-scanning systems have on retail shrinkage. According to the research from ECR (Efficient Consumer Response) Group, which included responses from UK retailers and a US retailer, they found the shrinkage rate actually went down by 0.12% when comparing shops that had Self-Scanning installed.
One of the main reasons that became clear is that it was a direct correlation to the number of items that were scanned. Customers that scanned their own items were more likely to ensure all of their purchases were scanned. This could be due to the novelty value of scanning your own items, not wanting to be dishonest and scanning at a slower rate than someone working at a till scanning the items. In some stores the rate that items are scanned at the till can lead to barcodes being missed.
Another reason that staff has higher levels of items not scanned can be put down to sweethearting, which is not scanning barcodes for family and friends.
What was also identified within the research was that those items that had not been scanned by customers were due to the frustration of a barcode not scanning properly or genuinely believing the barcode has been scanned when the data has not been captured.
The security measures in place to ensure that there is minimal shrinkage with Self-Scanning systems include:
Hearing "Unexpected item found in the bagging area" can be frustrating for customers. and needing a supervisor to confirm age-related items and still remove tags, the Self-Scanning systems will grow from strength to strength and currently it does not seem to have an impact on the retail shrinkage levels. As previously stated this is a relatively new technology in the UK and more research does need to be completed.