Self-Checkout: The Future of Point of Sale?



Change is inevitable. Even in retail. Does the rising popularity of Self-Checkout indicate the next big shift in the retail sector?

Consumers today are concerned with value, choice and speed. In a world where time is the number one commodity, and consumers have become accustomed to choosing and purchasing on their own- thank you, online shopping- new Self-Checkout technologies are emerging that are poised to revolutionize the way we shop.

IHL Group has released a report that speaks to this issue (download the report here – our readers receive 10% off by typing ‘barcode’ in the coupon code field). In 2009, over $192 Billion in sales were through Self-Checkout, arguably the hottest store-level retail technology of today. The 40 page report released by IHL Group focuses on the the current trends in Self-Checkout, as well as the quantitative aspects of the Self-Checkout market. The report also reviews the leading vendors, their products, and the market segments wherein Self-Checkout is seeing success. Also included is their assessment of the market opportunity and forecasts for shipments and installed base.

The IHL Group was founded by Greg Buzek. Buzek served six years as Product Development Manager for two Fortune 500 companies. Time and again he was forced to make recommendations to senior management based on spotty, unsubstantiated and nearly incomprehensible reports. In 1996, he left, seeking to solve this problem for others suffering from the same spotty reports. He formed IHL Group, an arms length consulting firm that delivers exacting research to corporate managers.

Since then, IHL Group has been providing customized business intelligence for retailers and retail technology vendors. An overall understanding of the technology market is essential to staying relevant, as is the ability to identify specific equipment needs. IHL Group provides retailers and retail technology providers with this information.

This report centers around Self-Checkout systems in Supermarkets, Mass Merchants, Home Improvement Centers and Drug Stores. The study reports remarkable numbers from historic installations (Kroger, Kmart, Alberton’s), suggesting that between 15-40% of the daily transaction volume of these stores is being processed through Self-Checkout machines. This frees the labor force to focus on other operational aspects, like the highest margin customers in the store. While often sold as labor-saving devices, Self-Checkout technology doesn’t actually result in lost labor, but rather a reallocation of it. Self-Checkout results in enhanced customer service because labor is redistributed to other departments.

The report serves as a comprehensive guide to the trends and quantitative functions of the Self-Checkout markets. It discusses top vendors, their products and the market segments where Self-Checkout is most successful. The final portion of the study provides a 4-year forecast for shipments, installed base, and market value, as well as a projected penetration in key retail segments.

Customers choose the self-checkout line because they feel it is faster than staffed checkout. IHL Group explains that this perception is based on two factors: 1) The line at the Self-Checkout counter is typically shorter than the express lane and 2) because the customer is an active participant in the scanning process, the time appears to pass faster. In reality, the transaction process is faster at the staffed checkout because the checker has more experience and the delays caused by the Self-Checkout device’s security feature are avoided. This and other insights regarding Self-Checkout are contained within the report.

The report comes as an electronic license that can be shared freely within your organization. The BarCode News readers may purchase the report for immediate download at 10% discount (a nearly $200 value) with the code ‘barcode’ at

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About the Author

Editorial Team is a leading industry news site for the point of sale and payments industry. We are also the go-to resource for small business owners that want expert tips and inspiration on how to run a successful business. Collectively, our team of experts has decades of POS, payments, and small business experience.