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The pandemic, in particular, has boosted ecommerce, but also all other forms of technology. To retain sales, retailers have had to offer a variety of technologies, such as pick-up in store, ship from store, and even curbside pick-up. Furthermore, for obvious reasons, the use of cashless payment has increased dramatically. Customers have grown accustomed to new technologies and are thus far more technologically savvy.

Addressing labor shortages through technology is another factor that has an impact now that we are in the post-pandemic phase. Some industries, such as retail and hospitality, have struggled to find enough new employees to replace those who have left their positions. Regardless of the myriad factors that go into the 'why,' businesses are focusing on how to fix the customer service issues caused by scarcity. Thanks to technological advancements, a low-cost hourly employee who can cover all shifts is now available - cashierless checkout.

Amazon was the first company to provide cashierless checkout. Amazon Go's cashier-free stores debuted in 2018, and the company quickly gained popularity. With the help of IoT and AI, the items in your shopping cart are automatically checked out, and an email receipt is sent to your inbox as soon as you leave the store. According to Business Insider, Amazon's estimates for this year's operating costs for 1,000-square-foot Amazon Go cashierless stores have dropped from $4 million in December 2017, one month before the first location opened, to $159,000 per store, a 96 percent decrease. This is already a significant increase, and even more money will be saved by the end of 2023.

While researching for this article, I came across an interesting survey from Piplsay (conducted in February 2021) about Findings that describe both the excitement of Amazon-Go users and how this could harm established retailers. As a result, grocers are becoming increasingly concerned about Amazon's potential to dominate not only online retail but also the entire store business.

It is not surprising that many new solution providers have entered this industry, and many retailers have begun to convert pilot stores into cashierless stores. Fortunately, the cost of the technology appears to have reached a point where it can be used productively. (Some preliminary calculations from startups in this space predict a return on investment of around 12 months after the initial investment.) Global retailers such as Tesco, Rewe, Netto, Aldi, and Wakefarm are collaborating with startups such as Trigo to make this a reality. Consumers check-in with their phones, and ceiling-mounted cameras are linked to Trigo algorithmic technology, which tracks shoppers' movements and product choices in the store in real time. There is no need to stand in line because the checkout process is automated, and payments and receipts are handled digitally. The system does not use facial recognition or any other method to identify people in accordance with European data protection law (!).


The following are some of the advantages of cashierless checkout:

• Lowering operating costs is one of the most compelling arguments in favor of a cashierless store. Because profit margins in the supermarket industry are so thin, even a small increase in profit results in a huge increase in earnings.

• It's intriguing, but also self-evident, that this policy will virtually eliminate shoplifting. Retailers lose more than 1% of their revenue on a regular basis due to theft, and any reduction significantly improves the bottom line.

• The third, and possibly most important, factor is that businesses will be more aware of what they have in stock as well as what each individual customer is purchasing. The fact that someone has such qualitative data opens up unprecedented opportunities for retailers. The more data you have, the better your decisions will be, which will lead to increased revenue.

SAP recently announced a collaboration with Trigo, which is a huge step forward for both companies! When the significant benefits that retailers can obtain through this partnership are taken into account, the value of this arrangement is not only in the end customer business, but also in logistics optimization. Integration with SAP Retail solutions boosts store process efficiency and allows for more effective use of collected store data for assortment creation, replenishment, and distribution.