According to a Capgemini report on how automation can help keep shoppers interested in the physical store, the majority of consumers believe that automation can help solve problems encountered in the point of sale, including long checkout queues (66%), difficulties in locating products (60%) and lack of their availability (56%). It thus becomes fundamental for large-scale retailers to adopt self-service solutions that guarantee a satisfactory customer experience. What is certain is that this does not stop at simply introducing these processes in order to pursue the progressive digitalisation of the store without also taking into account the possible consequences that their implementation entails, as once adopted there is the need to deal with the phenomenon of shrinkage and effectively integrate fraud detection and loss prevention strategies.
The recent research study “Shrinkage in large-scale retail stores in Italy: classification, measurement and new prevention strategies”, conducted by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan and Checkpoint Systems, reveals the methods and strategies with which large-scale retailers face the issue of shrinkage- The report finds that the causes of shrinkage can be of an operational nature, due to errors or inefficiencies in internal processes and of a criminal nature, and, when referring to solutions to combat this phenomenon, points to the use of innovative technologies as a way forward.
Technology can be a valuable ally in the fight against shrinkage without affecting the quality of the customer experience, while obviating as much as possible the annoying moment of having to rescan the shopping which very often discourages the store’s customers from choosing again autonomous ways of shopping. In fact, customers are often particularly annoyed by rescanning requests as they are perceived as inquisitive and a waste of time.
Surveys carried out at our installations have shown that 40% of customers who have had their items rescanned during their first three shopping trips have stopped using the self-scanning service altogether.
Rescanning checks are necessary because all too often loss prevention strategies are based solely on the customer’s reliability level, which governs his probability of being checked.
Smart Rescan Engine: a Retex’s proprietary solution for rescanning the shopping
The Retex Smart Rescan Engine solution allows to link follow-up actions in order to check that what the customer has self-scanned corresponds to what is actually in the shopping cart by way of total or partial rescan operations.
Through the use of artificial intelligence and machine-learning tools, Retex has developed a model that, when duly instructed, allows to reduce the number of rescanning operations required for certain types of customers and increase the effectiveness of more targeted and accurate rescannings, choosing to check those carts that will most likely result in a positive outcome.
Smart Rescan can be configurable by operating parameters that make it possible to minimize friction with customers, such as:
- level of sensitivity: in conditions of great influx, sensitivity can be lowered by decreasing the number of checks suggested based on their score;
- number of checks already in progress: setting of the number of checks that can be performed by the staff supporting the self-service area, avoiding queues at rescanning counters;
- level of customer spending: more risks can be taken with high-spending customers.