Colloquium announcement

Faculty of Engineering Technology

Department Design, Production and Management
Master programme Industrial Design Engineering

As part of his / her master assignment

Ditscherlein, J.M. (Judith)

will hold a speech entitled:

Check this out - A tool to prevent shrinkage at self-checkouts



Shrinkage at self-checkouts is an increasing challenge for retailers. Pan Oston, retail expert, developer, and producer of checkout solutions has the goal to deliver solutions to their customers that give them a sense of control over their checkout areas and delivers a good customer experience to their users.

Shrinkage is part of the total loss that arises in stores and can be caused by theft or process failures. External theft is with 37% the biggest part of shrinkage.

With the implementation of self-service and self-checkout solutions the chance of shrinkage increases. The challenges retailers face while introducing self-checkouts are mainly the accidental mistakes customers make during the checkout process. For example, not-scanning products, mis-scanning, or product swapping are reasons for increased shrinkage rates.

Pan Oston develops and produces self-checkouts with the intention to improve the customer journey in stores for the customer and retailers by improving, among other things the customer flow, reducing queue times at checkout, and quick checkout of a small number of items, thus improving the experience and the customer flow.

Customers present several reasons to justify their behavior not to pay for items using a self-checkout. For example, because they could not find the item in the list, or there was no help available during the scanning process. A solution needs to be found with the goal to prevent this kind of behavior.

There are several possibilities to secure products in retail. However, in supermarkets, this still leaves room for improvement. Products that cost less than a possible security measure are not viable. Because of this challenge, the focus of this research is on supermarkets. In supermarkets, there are mainly three different ways to check out:

- Scan as you shop: with a hand scanner or mobile phone

- Fixed self-checkouts: the customer is the cashier

- Belted checkouts: with a cashier

The focus of this research is on the fixed self-checkouts since this is currently a part of scan as you shop.

For finding a solution that decreases the shrinkage value and does not deteriorate the user experience of self-checkouts four starting points can be defined:

1. Design

2. Layout

3. Guidance

4. Technology

For Pan Oston the biggest opportunity to improve their products is improving the layout. 

For developing the best solution, it is talked to other retail experts. Those experts gave more insights into the retail world and the problem of shrinkage. The knowledge is supported by literature research.