Networked processes for faster, simpler checkout using central payment points
At the EHI "Checkout Solutions" event, Wincor Nixdorf is using a new checkout concept for clothing retailers to show how the use of mobile equipment and networked IT components can simplify and speed up the checkout procedure. The solution uses a wireless LAN to link mobile shopping assistants and intelligent shelving to perform the goods identification process at the checkout. The goods are scanned before leaving individual in-store departments, and items are held ready for customers on so-called "intelligent shelving" at the central payment point. With this showcase, Wincor Nixdorf is highlighting the benefits of deploying the Wincor Nixdorf "Store Communication Framework" (SCF) integration platform and the TP.net store solution.
The challenges for many retailers lie in interfacing individual retail processes - from customer registration and the various sales activities through to payment.
To date, sales, sorting and point-of-sale applications have run independently of each other. Lack of transparency of information for salesperson and purchaser, limited advisory opportunities, extended waiting times and a high propensity of error in the sales process are all potential consequences.
This is where the new Wincor Nixdorf solution concept comes in. It makes it possible to standardize the individual functionalities of the entire in-store process and network the information and data flow end-to-end:
The retailer allocates each shopper a shopping basket ID number to which all goods are booked during the shopping tour. Mobile personal shopping assistants (PSAs) are used for the purpose, with goods able to be registered either by sales personnel or by the shopper, thereby obviating the need for items to be scanned by the cashier. The customer saves time and has details of the content of his or her shopping basket available throughout.
As retail functions such as the discount module within the TP.net store solution are constantly available at the same time, retailers are able to promote their goods in a transparent, targeted manner.
During the shopping process, the customer is allocated individual shelf space which is used to handle the physical content of the shopping basket. Specific allocation helps reduce the frequency of errors when goods are handed over, thus improving security significantly.
At the end of the process is the checkout. Here, different variations on the theme can be applied – from cash checkouts (payment points) to unmanned self-checkouts.
The new software solution works in such a way that the information used by all IT components is networked and distributed across a uniform communications platform, the Store Communication Framework (SCF). The most important module in the SCF configuration being shown here is the TP.net retail store software.
"With this solution we are separating out goods registration from the payment processes, at the same time ensuring the various individual processes used in the different departments of a clothing or department store are networked end-to-end in real time on a single IT platform. Since this comprises not only functionality but also data, we are opening up for our customers the ability to secure productivity gains and improve customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and their own competitiveness," explains Michael Schulte, Manager, Retail Software Marketing at Wincor Nixdorf.
Wincor Nixdorf first exhibited the Store Communication Framework at the Wincor World trade fair in January 2005 and is now presenting a specific applied version of the concept for use by clothing retailers.