3 Self-Service Solutions Retail Businesses Can Learn From: Amazon, Glasgow University, Urban Bricks
With non-essential retail reopening, and restaurants, bars and pubs now being allowed to offer outdoor drinking and dining, it's no surprise that retailers and hospitality businesses are seeing a host of new technologies emerging, designed to reimagine the customer experience while improving the efficiency and efficacy of operations.
Self-service solutions are helping businesses to digitise their services - capturing more data from customer journeys, to better inform decision-making - improve customer experience, save costs and boost efficiencies. In this blog, we will look at three examples of self-service innovations that your business could replicate with the help of a solutions provider like MiTEQ.
Urban Bricks Pizzeria Deploys Self-Serve Beverage Wall
Urban Bricks is a fast-casual pizzeria franchise with over 120 stores. Their business centres around speed, convenience and fun customer experiences. In 2020, Urban Bricks deployed a 33-tap self-serve beverage wall, to make it easier for customers to indulge in their full range of craft beers.
While Urban Bricks is primarily a pizzeria, its core values revolve around experimenting with fresh local ingredients to create the exciting flavour combinations. They wanted to empower customers to seamlessly mix-and-match beverages of their choosing, without having to worry about who had consumed what, and at what quantity.
Using RFID tap-and-go cards, customers are now able to act as their own bartenders, gaining access to a variety of 33 self-pour taps for craft beers, seltzers, wines and cocktails. They pay for their drinks by the ounce.
As a result of the new self-service technology, Urban Bricks owner Scott Boken said that “people [are loving] the concept of pouring exactly what they want,”. The entire process is less labour intensive for staff, more convenient for customers and more cost-effective for the business as a whole.
Glasgow University Library Was The First University Library To Deploy RFID Technology For Self-Service Checkouts
Glasgow was the first University Library to deploy RFID technology for self-service checkouts, back in 2002, for the purpose of testing the technology and proving its worth within a busy library environment.
Glasgow University Library wanted to target its 80-thousand item short-loan collection, improving the management of stock, transactions and accessibility of resources. The idea was to create an entirely self-service system, while improving stock maintenance.
It took six weeks for agency staff to tag stock, averaging a rate of around 310 books-per-hour (60 books quicker than anticipated). Despite encountering a problem decrypting the library's unusual classification system - and inability to produce a shelfmark order index - an IT consultant was able to produce a translation program that remedied the issue and enabled the delivery of the final solution. By the time the project was finished, loans were able to be made in an entirely self-serviced way.
As a result of the transformation, loans increased by 20% to 378,000, 91% of first-time issues became self-service transactions, and between new RFID self-issue and existing barcode self-issue, 75% of loans came via self-service processes.
Amazon Go Offers Checkout-less Customer Experiences
Amazon Go is a new retail concept from the Amazon. As one of their first endeavours into bricks-and-mortar business, Amazon Go is a convenience store designed to completely eliminate the need for checkouts and queues.
Staying true to the Amazon ethos, Amazon Go strives to provide the most immediate, convenient customer experience for convenience store shoppers. Their tagline - "Just Walk Out" - completely encapsulates their intent to minimise friction, eliminate unnecessary pain points, and strive to deliver the most impeccable provision of day-to-day goods.
By scanning a QR code from their Amazon app upon entry, customers can pick up a product, and walk out again without queuing to pay at a till point. Instead of using RFID tags or weight sensors on shelves, Amazon Go is making use of computer vision technology to detect what customers take. Receipts are then emailed to customers digitally.
Amazon Go has been met with exceptional customer response. Forbes stated that "there’s a real appetite for the concept", and Amazon is reportedly looking to expand to as many as 3,000 locations within 2021.
Replicating The Success Of Other Self-Service Solutions
MiTEQ is working with business leaders with Retail and Hospitality businesses, marrying up business needs - and customer demands - with technologies to improve efficiencies, expenditure and customer experiences.
If you're wishing to explore solutions for your business, visit our Contact Us page. One of our specialists will reach out to discuss the work we are doing with similar companies, and the options available for you to elevate your processes and optimise your operations.