Poll: Is the checkout counter disappearing?

Bricks-and-mortar stores are constantly evolving to keep up with new technology, design trends and changing consumer behaviour.

If a retailer from the early 20th century walked into a store today, they would likely be surprised to see designated areas for online order fulfilment and pick-up, and digital screens showcasing new products and lifestyle images.

But one part of the store that hasn’t changed much is the checkout. That retailer from the early 20th century would likely recognise the long counter with a staff member and cash register on one side and a customer on the other. But for how much longer?

7-Eleven is the latest retailer to adopt scan-and-go payment technology, which allows customers to add items to a virtual basket on their phone while they shop and pay online before walking out. They skip the checkout (and the queue) altogether. Woolworths is trialling a similar technology.

Amazon takes it one step further with its fully automated Amazon Go stores. The company uses cameras and sensors to identify which items customers pick up off the shelf and simply charges their account.

Meanwhile, retailers like Apple and Nespresso have embraced roaming checkouts, where staff can complete transactions on tablets anywhere in the store.

In light of all this, is the traditional checkout counter on its way out?

We’re curious what technology you think will most disrupt the checkout in the next 10 years. Vote in our latest poll below, and share your thoughts in the comments!

What will most disrupt the traditional checkout counter in the next 10 years?


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