The global self-checkout (SCO) market grew by nearly a quarter in 2013, according to new research by London-based strategic research and consulting firm RBR.
RBR’s report, Global EPOS and Self-Checkout 2014, showed that last year, more than 33,000 SCO terminals were shipped worldwide. North America, already the largest region for SCO solutions, drove this upsurge in activity, contributing three quarters of the increase. This was led by the large-scale rollout of around 10,000 NCR SelfServ Checkout lanes at more than 1,200 Walmart locations across the US.
‘Traditional’ SCO, where the consumer scans, bags and pays for their goods, remains the most common solution, says the report. However, RBR found that mobile self-scanning using store devices is growing in popularity. The next logical step for many retailers is to offer this service via applications customers can download and use on their smartphones.
In addition, several vendors have produced tunnel scanning solutions, where goods are placed on a conveyor belt, automatically scanned and then funnelled into bagging and payment areas for each customer, enabling several to use the equipment at the same time. Small-scale trials of this solution have taken place in supermarkets in the UK and Germany.
Suppliers have also developed smaller-footprint SCO terminals, which are proving particularly popular in convenience stores in Asia Pacific, and cashless machines which accept card payments only. The increasing use of contactless card technology at SCO terminals, especially in the UK and Australia, will drive down the time taken by customers to pay, and may encourage greater throughput.
While most new SCO installations will continue to be in the grocery segment, new projects are expected in general merchandise and some subsegments of speciality retail, especially in the more mature markets.
RBR forecasts that the global installed base of SCO terminals will rise from 191,000 in 2013 to reach nearly 325,000 by 2019. Several potentially large markets in western Europe, including Germany, have yet to fully embrace the technology, and these are expected to grow over the next six years to increase the region’s share of the global market to be on a par with North America. In that same timeframe, it is expected that shipments to newer SCO markets, including Brazil and China, will also rise considerably.
Share this story