Get a Break from Speed Dating. Gear up Yourself for Speed Shopping
You may have heard about speed dating, a quick solution to find a date. There’s something more exciting in retail than speed dating and this is speed shopping. Everyone loves to shop, but what people don’t like is waiting in the queue for billing once you are done. This is a major problem, especially on weekends and during festivals and such occasions. At such times, queues are longer and so is the frustration for customers waiting in the queues.
It is because of this reason, many people resort to online shopping. This has proved to be a loss for retail outlets as they get lesser customers. However, technology now offers a great solution that can solve this problem and bring back customers. A new and exciting innovation in shopping is now becoming popular and has given rise to speed shopping.
What is Speed Shopping?
Speed shopping is an innovation that makes use of technology to speed up the process of shopping, especially the billing. The problem of queues and long waits for the customers can be solved through speed shopping. A customer can thus finish his entire shopping at top speed. How would this speed shopping work and what technology can be used? Read on to know more.
What is the Technology Used?
Speed shopping used a popular technology known as RFID. This is Radio Frequency Identification. This is a technology that makes use of radio waves to read information and interpret it. There are two elements that are used in RFID. They are:
- Tag: The tag is a label that can contain a code for identification. This code would have an RFID component in it, which has a transmitter and a receiver. It would have a microchip that can store information and retrieve it. There is also an antenna inbuilt for communication.
- Reader: The reader is a device that can read information from the RFID chip. It has a transmitter-receiver that is called as interrogator. The reader reads information from the tag retrieves it and sends it to a computer, where it can be processed.
One of the well-known applications of RFID has been in fast toll gates, where a vehicle would have a sticker with an RFID tag (with prepaid money). As it passed through a tollgate, the reader would access the RFID tag and deduct the toll and open the gate for the vehicle. All this happens within seconds and saves time for vehicles to wait in a queue at toll gates. The same technology can now be used in shopping.
How Speed Shopping Works?
As indicated, speed shopping uses the RFID technology. The retail outlet that offers speed shopping would use RFID for its products and have a reader that can read information from the tags and speed up the billing process. This is how the process would work:
1) All products in the store would have an RFID tag attached. The tag would contain details of the products and price coded into the microchip.
2) A shopper who shops in the retail store can quickly go through the store picking up items of his/her choice. An outlet that offers speed shopping would have its layout in such a way that shoppers can quickly spot the items of their choice and pick up them fast, without wasting time. There would be resources to help shoppers find the racks that contains the products they are looking for.
3) Once they finish their shopping, they need not go to the billing counter to deal with a billing assistant to do the shopping. Instead they can do the checkout and billing themselves.
4) The biggest advantage of speed shopping is the use of self check out. Control of check out and billing would be in the customer’s hands, making it more convenient.
5) There would be multiple self checkout counters, so that customers don’t have to waste time waiting.
6) The check out counter would have a kiosk to display information and a tray. The customer has to place the products on the tray. The tray would have an RFID reader, which would read information from all the items automatically. In traditional billing, an executive has to physically enter all the items or use bar code scanners to scan items one by one. Here, the RFID reader will automatically read all the items at one go.
7) As the RFID reader scans the items, it displays them on the screen with the price. Within seconds, the bill is generated and displayed on the screen. Various payment options would be provided so that the customer can pay using the kiosk. The customer can use his/her credit card or debit card to pay. Kiosks can even allow for other payment options like digital wallets.
8) Once the payment is done, the transaction is complete and the reader would deactivate the RFID tags on the products that have been checked out.
9) The customer can take the products and leave having completed the shopping very fast and in the most convenient way.
Benefits of Speed Shopping
Speed shopping provides many benefits and is a great innovation. All innovations have positive results for all stakeholders involved.
Benefits for Customers
1) There are multiple benefits for customers with the biggest benefit being saving time. Speed shopping, as the name suggests can be done fast, saving time for customers, who are in a hurry.
2) This is highly convenient for customers who don’t have to waste time standing in a queue.
3) Use of technology for shopping is an innovative idea and shoppers would welcome this idea and look forward to shopping here.
4) This technology and innovation allows for self checkout. This is a great option for customers who can handle the entire billing themselves, making it very convenient.
5) Self checkout also allows for payment through credit card and other options, speeding up the process of billing.
6) The biggest benefit of this technology is that all products can be checked out in one go as the radio waves would scan all tags at once. This increases the speed of checkout, which can happen during seconds.
7) Once customers place products in the tray, it would be checked out. If they don’t want it, they can remove from the tray. The product would automatically be removed from the billing list. This is convenient for removing and adding products before billing is done.
8) Speed shopping outlets would also have kiosks where product information can be obtained. This would help the customer decide on whether to buy the product or not after seeing the complete information.
9) Customers won’t be left to handle things themselves. Executives would be available to help them in case they face any problems or have any queries on using this system.
Benefits for Shops
1) Using this system is beneficial as customers are in control of their shopping. This helps to attract more customers.
2) By using technology, shops can save on manpower and also more customers can be handled in less time.
3) RFID tag use ensures that risk of shoplifting is minimized. If anyone tries to take out a product, the reader at the entrance/exit would detect that it has not been checked out and sound an alarm. Theft can thus be avoided.
4) Stores can even allow for online shopping to be done through the kiosk with product delivered to the customer’s home if they so wish.
5) Since RFID uses radio waves, it is much more efficient and there is no problem regarding disturbance.
Speed shopping would make use of technology to provide a great experience for shoppers. This innovative use of technology would be attractive making more shoppers visit. The convenience provided will help in ensuring shopper satisfaction.