Checkout reinvention will transform the store for better. Ongoing innovations continue to remove friction from the Shopping Experience. Is Amazon Go the best example? Certainly not, says Paola Saponaro from NCR, simply because the customers experience is not frictionless.
When it comes to digital store transformation, NCR is a pioneer in the field with more than 20 years of experience and the world’s largest self check-out supplier. Their self-service checkout solution is globally available in 44 countries, including Romania at Carrefour and Cora.
„NCR is an innovator so we started more than 20 years ago talking about store transformation while others not yet were doing. Today everyone talks about it but we were the first and the concept behind that was what can become a store in the future if we are facing some new services like ecommerce, appearing theoretically could remove the need to go to a store and what can do the retailer to make the store relevant.” – says Paolo Saponaro, EMEA Channel Presale – Store Transformation Business Consultant at NCR.
Saponaro believes that the physical store will remain relevant still for a long time, and give one example: „Today in grocery we have globally in the world 10% of transactions done online. 90% are still on site, in the stores for the groceries.„
However, there will be an increase of selling outside the store with ecommerce. But it takes time. The question is, what do you need to do as a merchant to become more attractive to your customers?
„The point is what is the difference the physical store can offer to the customer. This is the challenge the retailers have. And there’s a great opportunity for retailers to offer something in-store, making customers live an experience. This is the reason why our main message regarding store transformation is “customer experience”, giving the customer what is relevant today: easiness, speed, and frictionless. But also the wow effect. Customers go in also to have entertainment as part of the experience. This is the trend.„
We asked Saponaro if Amazon Go is the kind of commercial location that delivers the wow effect.
„Amazon Go wants to be the frictionless store. Unfortunately it is not.” she said. Also, „the technology used in Amazon Go stores is very expensive. It is currently used for very small shops. Otherwise you cannot spend a fortune to prepare such a store. The cost of the technology for implementation at the moment is prohibitive.”
She strongly believes that the customer shopping experience of the future must deliver two things. Firstly, to allow the customer to choose, so every option must be available, and secondly, to do whatever it takes to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly. „That’s something we’re working on.”
NCR & Global Payments partnership and the future plans for Romania market
The partnership between NCR and Global payments is very recent and it was built to developed the subservice business.
„NCR is a player in the retail market offering many innovative solutions for the transactions and to run the store. Here we found an area which Global Payments could get advantage in offering a solution combining payments and self-service. We have the possibility to develop the self-service market in Romania. So GP will be our reference point in Romania, selling the solution and they will be supported by other partners of NCR present here to complete all the solution elements like the installation, the support and so on. This is the type of partnership we created.”
As for the future plans on the Romanian market Saponaro explained that the idea is to work with Global Payments and other partners to open market.
„At the moment we don’t have an office here but NCR has a strategy to grow through partnerships. By partnership we mean reseller and value reseller, companies like Global Payments. What is important is to have a complete offering. One of our strategy „Run the Store”.
„Run the Store” means the retailer take care of all the business aspects and NCR manage the technology and everything from the technology perspective in the store. This is what we are really doing already in U.S. so it is our strategy for the future.”
NCR is a player offering today the concept of „Platform”. Saponaro explains: „Platform means a centralized cloud solution managing the store, for the POSs, for the check-out, but also managing many other aspects of the Retail Business. In Romania, at Carrefour we implemented our front office solution not the platform, yet. But the platform is something many retailers are working on. Carrefour as well with us.„
Watch the video interview to also see what Saponaro thinks about unattended terminals. Will they be the new standard in the check-out experience? „Completely unattended is very difficult.” she says. Follow the link below to find out why.
Banking 4.0 – „how was the experience for you”
„So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”
Many more interesting quotes in the video below: