The future vision of smart stores includes unmanned stores that are fully controlled by IoT, AI, or computer vision (cameras) . Many of these technologies have already entered the practical stage, and this article will explain “walk-through payment” among them.
- What is “walk-through payment”?
- “Walk-through payment” has begun to be put into practical use
- Advantages of “walk-through payment”
- 1. Solving the human resource shortage problem
- 2. Gain competitive advantage
- 3. Achieving advanced customer analysis
- 4. Prevention of fraud such as shoplifting
What is “walk-through payment”?
Normally, at retail stores, staff stationed at the cash register read the barcodes of each product one by one, and then make a cashless payment using cash or credit card, presenting the total price . Recently, self-service cash registers have become commonplace, and payment processes have become semi-automated. On the other hand, “walk-through payment” allows for even more automation. In short, it refers to a system where payment can be completed by simply passing through the cash register (walk-through).
The reason why “walk-through payment” became a hot topic was “CEATEC JAPAN 2018” held at Makuhari Messe in October 2018. The event utilizes IoT and CPS (Cyber Physical System) to create businesses based on co-creation among all industries and industries, bring together technology and information, and achieve both economic development and the resolution of social issues. We aim to realize a super smart society (Society 5.0) that
What attracted attention at this time was the convenience store exhibited by Lawson that supports “walk-through payment.” Products are tagged with RFID ( electronic tags ), and by reading the RFID attached to the product, payment can be completed without having to register at the register or transfer money. Payment is made using the QR code displayed on your smartphone.
The system is surprisingly simple; consumers simply pick up the item they want to buy, scan the barcode, and then hold the QR code over the reader installed in front of the gate. All you have to do is pass the bag containing the items through the gate, the payment will be completed, and an electronic receipt will be sent to the app.
According to Lawson, convenience stores that support walk-through payments are not aiming to become unmanned, but rather to minimize wait times at the register and free up staff to focus on other tasks such as customer service. is.
In addition, on February 18, 2020, the company announced a further initiative, “Starting an experiment at a cashierless experimental store “Lawson Fujitsu Shin-Kawasaki TS cashierless store.” This “cashierless store” demonstration experiment will be conducted at the “Fujitsu Shin-Kawasaki TS Cashierless Store” which will be open from February 26th to May 25th. This initiative is attracting a lot of attention as it is an experimental store where you can automatically pay by simply taking the item out of the store. However, during this experimental period, the ability to shop without going through the cash register will be limited to employees working at Fujitsu Shin-Kawasaki Technology Square, with the aim of opening new stores for general customers in the summer of 2020. It seems that there is.
“Walk-through payment” has begun to be put into practical use
The “walk-through payment” convenience store exhibited at “CEATEC JAPAN 2018” is still in the practical stage. However, “walk-through payment” has now become a practical technology in all stores. ITOCHU Techno Solutions’ “CTC DX Solution for Retail” has made this possible.
“CTC DX Solution for Retail” provides numerous functions to realize smart stores in order to solve problems and issues specific to the retail industry in the era of digital transformation. One of them is “walk-through payment”.
With CTC DX Solution for Retail’s Walk-Through Payment, consumers first check in at a store by holding a QR code containing personal information over a reader when entering the store. AI cameras and weight sensors will be installed on product shelves to determine which products consumers have picked up. Additionally, TOF (Time of Flight) sensors installed at store exits identify consumers and automatically pay for the items they pick up.
At the convenience store that Lawson exhibited at CEATEC JAPAN 2018 that supported walk-through payment, consumers were required to read the barcode of the product, but with CTC DX Solution for Retail, that is not necessary. This dramatically improves convenience for consumers and solves various problems faced by stores.
Advantages of “walk-through payment”
It can be seen that the convenience of “walk-through payment” for consumers is high without even thinking about it. So, what are the benefits for retail stores of offering such new payment methods?
1. Solving the human resource shortage problem
The introduction of “walk-through payment” is expected to have the effect of directly resolving the problem of lack of human resources. However, that’s not all. By automating the routine work of payment, which was originally impossible to automate, store staff can focus on more creative work such as customer service, which can lead to improved “job satisfaction and value” at retail stores. maybe. If this happens, the number of job seekers at less popular retail stores will increase, potentially resolving the industry-wide talent shortage problem.
2. Gain competitive advantage
For consumers who do not need to communicate with store staff, and for business people who are always pressed for time, “walk-through payment” is likely to become established as an efficient means of shopping. In addition, cashless payments have recently become more popular, and there may be less resistance to “walk-through payments.” Improving convenience through “walk-through payments” could be an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. It will be.
3. Achieving advanced customer analysis
“Walk-through payment” identifies QR codes with consumer information registered, so it is possible to collect purchase history information for each consumer. Furthermore, if the introduction of “walk-through payment” is expanded, it will be possible to collect purchase history information from a wide range of stores, making it possible to conduct sophisticated customer analysis that provides a bird’s-eye view of consumer purchasing behavior as a whole.
4. Prevention of fraud such as shoplifting
Walk-through payment, which makes full use of AI cameras, weight sensors, and TFO sensors, is also effective in preventing fraud such as shoplifting.
In modern business, where the e-commerce industry is rapidly developing, physical stores were thought to be less attractive than before. However, by incorporating new technologies such as “walk-through payment,” you can create a store that is as attractive as e-commerce. Why not take this opportunity to consider smart stores and “walk-through payments”?