Smooth self-checkout

CSP staff

Implementing technology in convenience stores comes with the challenge of gaining buy-in from the store's internal teams and then influencing customers to embrace new ways of shopping.

Industry leaders spoke at the Dover Refueling Solutions Conference in Austin, Texas, about training employees and how technology can help them, not harm them.

The panel discussion was moderated by Steve Van Vlak (right), director of business development at Dover Fueling Solutions in Austin. Panelists included Jarrett Nazca (second from right), chief marketing officer of Grubbrr, a software development company in Boca Raton, Florida; Scott Languedoc (left), global head of convenience and energy retail at Amazon Web Services, an information technology services company in Seattle. and Toby Awalt (second from left), vice president of marketing at Mashgin, an AI software development company in Palo Alto, California.

Self-checkout kiosks are creating frustration, Nazca said. In his experience, cashiers encouraged customers to use manned cash registers instead of kiosks because they were afraid of losing their jobs.

“If you want people to really embrace this technology, your staff needs to buy in,” he said. “We stopped tipping at the point of sale and only tipped at the kiosks. So that quickly flipped the switch.”

After the change, all cashiers began encouraging customers to use the kiosks, Nazca said.

“You have to look at it three-dimensionally. It's not just about one aspect of the business. It's internal stakeholders, external stakeholders and its execution,” he said.

Frictionless experiences tend to be sticky Awalt, approximately 88% of customers would use technology again after trying it once. Getting people to use the technology requires at least some intervention, much of which comes from staff training.

Retailers can, for example, say, “We bought these things as tools to make your life better.We bought these things as tools to make your life better.'' We will make you even more efficient. For all these things, we still need you.” Awalt said.

He said employees should be trained to understand technology as a tool rather than a competition. As a result, deployment occurs more quickly.

And as retailers achieve more and more first-time usage, it's easy for things to snowball from there.

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