January 20, 2019
Coop Estonia has introduced two different self-service technologies – self-scanning and self-checkouts. Moreover, Coop is the first retailer in the Baltics that has opened a store where both self-service technologies are available.
Self-scanning allows the retailer to interact with their customer in a new way, bringing the online shopping experience into the brick-and-mortar store. Shoppers are able to scan and bag their purchases themselves, for quicker and smoother checkout, without the need to wait in line or re-pack the groceries after payment. Ergonomic Zebra MC18 scanners are used for the self-scanning concept in the two Coop Estonia stores where the technology was installed. The touch screen devices are convenient for customers to use and improve their shopping experience. The self-scanning process is very simple: 1) Scan 2) Pack 3) Pay. The customer swipes the loyalty card at the entrance and takes the assigned scanner. The customer scans the products and packs it directly into bags. After the shopping process is finished, the customer simply pays at the payment kiosk and leaves the store. The software used at these two stores was developed by StrongPoint.
Priit Peterson, Coop Estonia Development Director, appreciates the successful cooperation: “Cooperation with StrongPoint has been pleasant and professional. It is good to rely on partners who are specialists in their field and are able to offer consultancy support in addition to hardware sales. Many retailers underestimate and ignore the project’s theoretical part, go-live support and details. However, Coop Estonia takes it very seriously and that´s probably why all our projects are successful. We try to avoid the mistakes that others have already done.”
The self-checkouts were installed at Tartu, Rapla and Saaremaa stores – 10 systems in total. According to statistics, self-checkout systems can reduce queues with up to 40%. In addition, the self checkouts enable Coop Estonia to organize the checkout zones more efficiently, manage human resources optimally and plan work time better.
Shoppers with smaller shopping baskets are likely to benefit the most from self-checkouts. They can make their purchases more convenient and faster. The recently installed self-checkout systems at the Lasnamäe Maksimarket and Akadeemia Konsum stores have now been equipped with additional functions. Initially, customers using the self-checkouts could only pay with bank cards. Now, they can choose to pay with cash as well.
This self-checkout project is special because of its time schedule. These types of projects are usually implemented in one store as a pilot project. This project is then monitored for a certain period of time. This time however, the systems were implemented in three stores within three weeks.
StrongPoint was responsible for the user interface, hardware and the database. The success of the project depended on close cooperation among all parties involved. That close cooperation resulted in a smooth, fast and successful implementation. The StrongPoint software has flexible configuration possibilities, so all user interface change requests could be done very quickly. In the stores where self-service technology is available, every fifth purchase is made using the self-service solutions. Coop plans to expand the self service concept to 20 stores within two years.
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