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Update on self checkout in the newsagency

Use of the self checkout POS software terminal we have setup in one of my newsagencies continues to grow. Without any encouragement shoppers are happily scanning purchases and paying.

The mix of products continues to surprise: cards, gifts and stationery with the odd magazine or newspaper. Prior to installation we expected it to be used primarily for papers and magazines. We also expected it to be for single purchase transactions. Most transactions are two items and even more. Average transaction value is $25+.

We installed the self checkout terminal as a trial for my POS software company, to play with new tech. It was not installed for a newsagency specific reason.

My interest was to see if shoppers in an independent local retail business might use self checkout. Sure, we are wired to use these types of terminals in the major supermarkets. It’s rare in independent local retail businesses. So for our trial we needed to install the tech without fanfare or encouragement, to see how shoppers behave.

The $4,400 hardware and software solution is a lower cost than what the major supermarkets install. It’s a smaller footprint too.

I know from research that shoppers are turned off by self checkout POS software that is hard to navigate. We have made sure this is simple. The in-store experience has shown this to be the case. People of all ages are engaging. There is no tech barrier like we wondered there might have been.

A factor I had not considered that much is that there are shoppers who like a more private transaction of business. Self checkout works for them.

The supermarkets have crashed through with this tech and educated people to embrace it. This certainly does make it easier for local small business retailers to embrace if it is right for their own businesses. There is less pushback than would have been the case five years ago.

Tower Systems released its self checkout solution last year. It was developed for other retailers. Now, based on the experience in my own newsagency, we will keep the terminal. It is playing a good role in the business.

Newsagency management

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