Smart technology to get shoppers out of stores more quickly is coming.
However, it’s coming less like a freight train and more like a glacier.
Smart checkout can comprise different techniques, such as totally checkout-less shopping, cashier-based automatic payment and automatic item scanning and bagging, according to a new study by Juniper Research.
The capabilities are enabled by a variety of sensor and image recognition technologies, though most are in the trial stages.
The general idea is that shoppers come into a store, browse and select products and, when done, can leave more quickly while bypassing checkout lines.
Anyone who has made a purchase in an Apple store can see one approach, with customers paying an in-aisle salesperson and even the associate who helped them select a product. Amazon Go takes this to another level, with shoppers putting items in bags and technology tracking the process so a person leaves the store and then is charged.
More than $78 billion in transactions will be processed through smart checkouts within five years, according to Juniper.
This is an increase from an expected $10 billion this year.
The number of stores involved is large, projected to be in more than 5,000 retail outlets in five years.
The number of consumers using checkout apps, allowing them to scan their own items, will grow from around 4 million this year to 30 million in five years, according to the forecast.
Retailers will have some incentive to deploy such systems, with Juniper estimating that the new invisible payment checkout technologies will drive an average increase in revenue of more than $300 per shopper by 2022.
These include checkout apps and automatic scanning, pretty basic functions relative to more comprehensive IoT approaches.
However, the cost to deploy totally smart checkouts will be slow due to the high cost of the technology with pressure to show ROI.
Meanwhile, consumers can continue to do their shopping online or in a store and then, to skip a line, simply order online for either delivery or in-store pickup. That can get them out of a store quickly.