Self-checkout solutions are starting to redefine brick and mortar experiences; Aleksander Martyshko, Senior Mobile Software Architect at Teamwork Commerce dives into a few upcoming trends and benefits:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Aleksander – tell us about yourself and your role at Teamwork Commerce
As a Senior Software Architect with expertise in RFID technology, I am responsible for leading the development of mobile applications that leverage RFID technology to improve inventory accuracy, reduce out-of-stocks, and provide real-time data insights.
I have a proven track record of designing and implementing innovative mobile solutions for the retail industry, with years of experience in developing software for RFID-based inventory management and customer engagement systems.
I love learning new technologies and I always want to improve my skill set. In my free time, I love reading books related to mobile development. I also read short stories – I find them useful for me to keep myself updated with new technologies, and they help me to write good code.
We’d love to hear about some of the platform’s latest innovations and how it enables end users
We recently announced the launch of our RFID-powered self-checkout solution, and at the core of that product is our commitment to creating a much more streamlined checkout experience for consumers, while delivering security and highly streamlined operations for retailers.
The technology utilises RFID technology to instantly scan all items in a shopper’s basket or cart, and in-store visitors can complete transactions on their own within seconds. Meanwhile, from a retailer’s perspective, fewer staff members are tied to Point of Sale (POS) terminals – enabling them to focus more time on delivering a high-quality experience for customers, and with RFID tags attached to every product, the risk of theft is minimised significantly. Retailers will experience fewer losses and enhanced security at checkout.
How are RFID powered self-checkout systems changing the game for retail brands in today’s marketplaces? Can you discuss more on how leading brands are using this feature to drive in-store impact?
Self-checkout, for many, has been a breath of fresh air for consumers and retailers alike. It is clear that these terminals are here to stay. It has played a strong role in cutting queue times down for retailers, but this doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved – checkout times can still be more streamlined.
We want to play our part in the evolution of the retail industry and RFID-powered self-checkout will help retailers take an important step in the right direction. In today’s retail environment, customer experience is everything. As the last touchpoint a shopper has with a store, more checkout options for customers can not only significantly improve overall customer satisfaction, but they can reduce queue times – which benefits everyone. Customers are finished sooner. And retailers can optimise the amount of time visitors spend in-store.
Why in your view will self-checkout become the next big thing or one of the next big things in retail?
I think it is the natural progression of retail. Convenience is becoming critical to attracting and retaining customers, and retailers are recognizing that. However, convenience alone isn’t enough. It needs to be paired with an excellent customer experience. Until now, e-commerce has been providing the convenience that customers crave, but we’re starting to see a shift in consumer preference back towards in-store, experiential retail.
It is also worth noting that although RFID technology has existed for decades, it has typically been seen as an expensive solution. In recent years, a lot of great work has been done to make the technology more affordable, which is giving retailers better access to its capabilities.
RFID-powered self-checkout enables retailers to provide the best of both worlds: a completely streamlined in-store experience where customers can checkout in seconds if they want to, but without the need for manned checkout stations, store staff can instead focus on other technologies – such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Clienteling platforms, Reporting and Analytics, and Inventory Management solutions – to create personalised experiences for in-store visitors.
They can make recommendations based on previous purchases, suggest alternative items to products that are out of stock, or even facilitate omnichannel fulfilment options such as buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) and buy online, return in-store (BORIS).
RFID-powered self-checkout plays a unique role in the development of retail. It might become the next big thing for retailers. However, if brands really want to develop long-term relationships with customers and drive sustainable growth, they need to invest in an all-encompassing retail technology stack that incorporates a range of solutions that communicate in real-time to deliver the ultimate customer experience.
What are some thoughts you have in mind regarding the future of retail management software?
Consumer demands continue to evolve and change. Whether retailers need to deliver convenience, personalization, or simply have better vision into their business operations, the right retail management software helps them remain agile. Agility is the key to the future of the industry – we only have to look at the past few years to recognize that. So, retail management software must deliver that.
The question then becomes more focused around how the software can ensure a high level of flexibility for retailers. The answer is simple: options. The management software has to be able to integrate with a vast number of technologies that reach from the manufacturing of a product, to its sale and then motivating and engaging repeat customers. Only then can a retailer have complete visibility of their operations. And with the right technologies in place – from managing supply chains and order management all the way through to POS – better decisions can be made in real time.
If customers want convenience, better omnichannel solutions can be developed. If they want personalization, retailers can merge their CRM with Mobile POS systems to make recommendations on products and complete transactions from anywhere in-store. If the economy is struggling and retailers need to put on promotions to help customers spend, they can leverage Analytics and Reporting solutions to understand the best way to deploy them. Most importantly, those options should all be available from one system. That is the future of retail management software.
Can you highlight more on the impact of AI in this market?
AI is an interesting topic at the moment – especially with the level of attention being given to ChatGPT nowadays. From a retail perspective, I think the conversation goes back to creating convenience and amazing in-store experiences.
AI and wider automation technologies, remove the need for manual labour – processing returns, counting stock levels, analysing data, and much more. If a team of people are handed any of those tasks manually, it will take a significant amount of time to complete them and there is a likelihood that not all data available is considered.
Manual processes create an opportunity cost for retailers. Instead of spending hours counting stock, in-store associates can better spend their time interacting with customers, delivering a high-quality in-store experience. Furthermore, the inaccuracies created by manual processes can significantly hinder an entire retail operation.
The retail industry is starting to adopt automation and wider AI as a result of this, and it is being heavily driven by the evolving demands of customers.
Teamwork Commerce is a natively integrated omnichannel solution, with an industry leading order management system. From point of sale, to inventory management TW has a solution for every single element of your business, with centralized analytics you will always know where your business stands.
BONUS READ – Jon Miller, CMO at Demandbase chats about the evolution of ABM in this webchat with MarTechSeries:
Episode 168: AI and its Impact on Marketing and Sales with Marco Lagi, Vice President, Artificial Intelligence at Intentsify
Episode 167: Precision Based Marketing Tips – with Carter Lassy, Chief Product Officer at Terminus
Episode 166: Renewed Sales-Marketing Alignment Tips: with Melton Littlepage, CMO at Outreach