Self-checkout technology continues to spread through the retail world, with shipments increasing 52% in 2019, according to a new report from U.K.-based research firm RBR.
The three largest international vendors all achieved strong growth in 2019. The research shows that NCR is the largest self-checkout supplier globally, shipping nearly 58,000 units last year, up more than 50% from the year before. The vendor delivered terminals to a strong base of large-scale customers, including international big-box giant Walmart and U.K. grocery chain Sainsbury’s.
Meanwhile,Toshiba grew its share of the self-checkout market by 24% year over year, with an expanding presence particularly in the United States and Japan. Retailers rolling out the vendor’s solution in recent years, with many deployments continuing into 2020, include regional U.S. supermarket chains Weis Markets and Albertsons, as well as Walmart Canada. Diebold Nixdorf, the world’s third-largest vendor, also strongly increased its shipments by 7%, supplying more than a quarter of all units delivered to Europe.
“With retailers investing more and more in self-service solutions, competition to supply retailers with self-checkout technology is becoming increasingly fierce, with new suppliers and innovative products emerging all the time,” said Alan Burt, who led the RBR research.
According to RBR, the self-checkout momentum will continue, with global installations expected to triple by 2025 to surpass 1.1 million.
More specifically, a fresh wave of innovation in self-checkout — and payments in general — appears ready to hit the food retail world, where younger, tech-savvy consumers are making their desires known, and where new technology is becoming more affordable and convenient for smaller and midsize retailers.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart provides a good glimpse into what might be coming in self-checkout.
For an ongoing experiment in its home state, Walmart set up 34 self-checkout registers that line the edge of an open area. Each register has a green light that directs employees and customers to available checkout bays, which could save customers the annoyance of standing in a slow-moving traditional checkout lane. Customers aren’t left on their own, however. Walmart’s self-checkout comes with a certain level of built-in hand-holding: Employees greet shoppers at the entry to the new checkout area and offer help proactively.