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DATALOGIC

Retail Business Solutions


Datalogic


Datalogic Retail Business Solutions

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Around the world the types of retail stores are as diverse as the consumers they serve. However, they share common characteristics. Retailers have the need to accurately and reliably collect item level transaction data and to continually improve the operational efficiency of the checkout. This operational efficiency translates into improving the speed of the checkout which improves the consumers' shopping experience while reducing costs.

Despite these commonalities different retail checkout environments have different requirements for collecting item level data. Checkout environments will vary based on the type of store, merchandise mixes, cultural or geographic differences, and consumer preferences. However, we can make some general assumptions on requirements by looking at three basic transaction environments:

  • High performance and high volume checkout
  • Small counter checkout
  • In-store distributed position checkout

In general we find upon examination of each transaction environment that:

High performance and high volume checkout environments fast paced checkout
High performance and high volume checkout environments are characterized by large numbers of checkout “stands” across the front of the store. These stores need the highest throughput and productivity available. They typically have large numbers of customers each day and each customer transaction contains a fairly high number of lower value items. Customers typically use shopping carts and unload these carts onto a belt or counter that brings the items to the cashier. Typical store types that us this checkout style are:

  • Mass merchandisers
  • Supermarkets
  • Hypermarkets
  • Warehouse clubs
  • Some larger DIY retailers
  • Some large specialty stores - known as “category killers”

This environment is almost exclusively characterized by cashiers who slide the items across an in-counter bar code scanner (usually a high performance bi-optic scanner). Almost all items are moved across the scanner with some exceptions being bulky or heavy items that may be scanned with an auxiliary handheld scanner connected to the primary high performance scanner.

Small counter checkout environments small counter
Small counter checkout environments are characterized by a small number (usually 1 to 3) of checkout “counters” at the front of the store. These stores also require accuracy and performance; however, performance in this context takes on the characteristic of reading small, damaged or other hard-to-read bar code labels. First pass read rates, the ability to read difficult labels on the first try, is critical to maximizing productivity. Customers typically have relatively few items in their transaction and these items are of medium unit price and usually small in physical size.

Customers typically do not use shopping carts but simply place their items on the counter near the point-of-sale terminal. Typical stores types that us this checkout style are:

  • Drug stores and pharmacies
  • Convenience stores
  • Small neighborhood food markets
  • Some specialty stores

This environment is characterized by cashiers who pick up the items and “present” the items to a bar code scanner. These presentation scanners must be small to minimize the amount of valuable counter space they occupy and they must be able to read the bar code at any angle (Omni-directional scanning). In many instances, these stores have some items that are heavy and/or bulky and it is easier for the checker to pick up and take the scanner to the item to be scanned. Therefore, the ideal scanner for this environment needs to be able to be used in a hand held mode. However, the ideal scanner for this environment is not a typical hand held scanner since the great majority of the items in the transaction set are easier to bring to the scanner and because of the need for excellent first-pass-read rates.

In-Store distributed position checkout environments in-store
In-store distributed position checkout environments are characterized by checkout “counters” that can be found anywhere in the store. Customers typically have relatively few items in their transaction and these items are of medium to high unit prices and usually smaller in physical size. They can also be apparel or other soft goods items.

Customers typically do not use shopping carts but simply place their items on the counter beside the point-of-sale terminal. Typical store types that us this checkout style are:

  • Department stores
  • General merchandise
  • Some specialty stores
  • Apparel (or other soft goods) stores

This environment is characterized by cashiers taking the scanner to the item. For instance, they may fold a clothing item then bring a handheld scanner to the item's hanging price tag. Another example of this type of environment may be transactions comprised of items that have larger physical sizes and high value, like an electronics store. Depending on the checkout design a handheld scanner may be the most efficient.

The retail transaction environments discussed above are certainly not all inclusive and many stores may not follow any one definition. The descriptions above merely serve to address some of the characteristics of a given transaction environment that need to be considered when maximizing operational efficiencies. They may, in fact, be a combination of different environments and as such, may require multiple types of bar code scanners in a single store.

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