Why AI Checkout Solutions aren’t just for Retailers

Retailers are placing a significant emphasis on autonomous checkout, leveraging technology-driven solutions to redefine the consumer shopping experience. In this blog post, we delve into the adaptation of AI in corporate hospitality and explore its potential applications beyond.

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Autonomous checkout is a key focus for retailers with tech-driven solutions paving new ways for the consumer shopping experience. Google Cloud said, during its analyst briefing at The National Retail Federation (NRF 2023) ‘Big Show’ in New York earlier this month, that ‘digital retail transformation is not a journey; it’s a race’.

Amazon with it’s Just Walk Out technology means consumers literally leave with their goods, with no checkout needed at all. Other tech solutions include AI-driven contactless payments, where consumers can use an app to scan and pay for items autonomously.

It’s widely viewed that no matter how well your establishment is set-up or how great the customer service is – if the checkout experience is long, laborious and slow, the whole experience is muddied and consumers leave feeling frustrated.

These AI tech solutions aren’t just for big retail names such as Amazon or well-known high street brands – they are for hospitality operators of every size. In fact, according to the Food Industry Association, 71% of food retailers plan to increase spending on AI.

With autonomous checkout (AI-based image recognition tech) the checkout is quite literally being given ‘vision’; eyes to view what food items are on the plate, recognise them and calculate the price.

Speed is one of the most significant perks that comes with autonomous checkout. Watch this video here to see the process of recognising what is on the plate, and paying, takes less than seven seconds in total – far quicker than any other checkout set-up – and brings a whole new meaning to ‘grab and go’. This means queues are virtually non-existent, if not eradicated completely.

For smaller hospitality settings – in the wake of rising energy bills, increasing food prices and staff shortages – these tech solutions can also transform the overall efficiency of their operation. Staff that may have traditionally been on the checkout can be utilised in other areas of the business, the checkout area can be reconfigured to make more room for produce to be displayed and promotional signage can be moved to more prominent areas.

It’s an age-old saying, but it still rings as loud as it ever has when we say ‘convenience is king’. Consumers would far rather choose a slightly more expensive lunch option if it meant they didn’t have to walk 10 minutes out their way or wait in a long queue. Similarly, they would choose an outlet that accepts digital payments, over one that only accepts cash which entails a walk to a cash point and then back again. The checkout experience is just as much a part of the decision making, as the menu options, the ambience of the setting and the customer service.

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