Retailers ramp up investment in mobile self-scan — Retail Technology Innovation Hub

According to research by RBR, customers can use mobile self-scanning at more than 46,000 stores worldwide.

By 2021, 10,000 additional stores worldwide began offering this service, with customers scanning items as they shop using their own smartphone or a retailer-provided device.

Mobile self-scanning solutions have been offered for years by large, established retailers in European countries such as the UK, France and the Netherlands.

However, major chains in other parts of the world, such as in the US, and smaller merchants elsewhere, are increasingly entering through smartphone applications.

In 2021, convenience retailer 7-Eleven rolled out smartphone self-scanning at nearly 3,000 stores in the US, while fuel retailer Repsol in Spain rolled out the same at 600 stores.

RBR’s research shows that while many retailers develop their own mobile self-scanning software, a large number work with outside specialists.

Suppliers such as the Dutch Re-Vision, acquired by Extenda Retail in 2022, the Austrian Shopreme and the British Mishipay deliver to retailers in a large number of countries, while the Budgetbox solution is live at leading French grocers.

In the US, Skip works with various supermarkets, while Chinese retailers mainly use apps via payment programs WeChat and Alipay. Other retailers are partnering with their PoS software vendor, with notable players such as GK Software, NCR and Toshiba.

The self-scanning market via retailer-supplied devices continues to grow, with US-based Zebra accounting for over 80% of hardware installations; The Italian Datalogic takes care of most of the rest.

While supermarket chains in mature markets will continue to expand mobile self-scanning to more stores, the technology will increasingly be deployed in other sectors, including convenience with fuel, DIY, household goods and clothing.

Greater adoption of smartphone self-scanning applications, particularly in the Americas and Asia, will boost the market in the coming years. According to RBR, the number of stores offering mobile self-scanning worldwide will reach 160,000 by 2027.

RBR’s Alex Maple says, “Mobile self-scanning is expected to expand significantly, into a more diverse range of retailers and into new geographies.”

“Whether scanning items with a smartphone or a retailer-supplied device, reducing friction and improving the shopping experience remains a key goal.”

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