Challenges with the Integration of Scan & Go
Retailers have to face a number of challenges when introducing Scan & Go into their business strategy. This article points out things to consider, as well as the most important qualities a Scan & Go provider should offer, to guarantee a smooth integration.
The decision to implement mobile self-checkout into the store has been made? Great! However, store owners tend to face several difficulties when it comes to flawless integration. This especially concerns
- integrating Scan & Go into existing business tools,
- choosing the most suitable client type,
- deciding between customization or a third-party app,
- picking the best Scan & Go provider, and
- long-term support and updates.
To help master these challenges, or to not be faced with common difficulties in the first place, this guide explains each step in detail.
Integrating Scan & Go into existing infrastructure
When thinking about implementing Scan & Go, retailers will typically already have a number of tools and systems in use to manage the various processes of the respective store. Such systems usually cover things like customer loyalty & promotions, receipt generation, price calculation, bookkeeping, and more.
To make for a smooth integration, those existing business tools should be kept in use, while the addition of a mobile self-checkout solution for the customers is integrated into the infrastructure at hand. This means that for the internal management, there should be no difference in how customers complete the purchase. Thus, retailers can stay consistent in their strategy, while making the most of the opportunities that Scan & Go has to offer.
Furthermore, it is vital to choose a Scan & Go provider who offers predefined connectors that are actively maintained and exist solely for the purpose of integrating third-party systems as manually integrating all the store’s existing software into the solution of a Scan & Go provider or into a custom-made Scan & Go system is costly as well as error-prone when it comes to maintenance.
Select the suitable Scan & Go client type for your needs
There are many types of Scan & Go customer client types. Each of those can be very fitting for a specific retailer and branch, while being totally unsuitable for others.
For example, a Scan & Go web app is an ideal choice for stores that customers only visit once a month or even less. This way, they do not have to install an app they rarely use, but are still capable of using the mobile self-checkout opportunity.
For other retailers, however, the standalone app or even the integration of a Scan & Go SDK into an existing retailer app might be a more suitable solution.
In any case, it is important to define the needs and circumstances beforehand, then make sure that the Scan & Go provider of choice is able to offer the kind of solution needed for the individual case.
Make it your customized Scan & Go solution
As a retailer, the most important success factor by far is customer loyalty. The business strategy as a whole and every single service on offer should be based on this fact.
That being said, in order to build trust and a close relationship with customers, it is advisable to communicate directly, and not via a third party. Consequently, there is one fundamental decision every retailer has to make: offering their own individual Scan & Go solution or using an existing Scan & Go platform.
While there certainly are some advantages in just utilizing an existing platform, this option will never allow to integrate the mobile self-checkout solution fully into the feature set at hand. Neither does it enable retailers to promote their corporate identity, or in fact have any kind of direct relationship with their customers. Here, they will always be one small piece of an existing platform, similar to a single merchant on Amazon.
Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to choose a Scan & Go provider who offers a white label system, which can be branded according to the individual CI, and integrated flawlessly – thus being a fully customized mobile self-checkout solution.
How to integrate Scan & Go into an existing retailer app
Depending on the client type chosen, it may be sensible to integrate the mobile self-checkout feature into an already established store app used by customers.
When integrating a provider’s Scan & Go SDK into an existing app, there are two major risk factors, however: either the SDK cannot be sufficiently customized to the retailer’s needs, and therefore the user experience will suffer. Or the SDK is fully customizable, but from the time the initial changes were made, the software provider is no longer able to release new versions of the SDK for the retailer, and therefore no updates will ever be possible.
This is why it is so important to verify that the Scan & Go provider is able to offer an SDK and also a customization layer on top of it, so that the retailer will be able to customize the solution and still keep the possibility for regular updates, delivered by the provider.
Long-term support and regular updates
Among the most important factors concerning the long-term success of a Scan & Go solution are the running costs and active maintenance of the software as all components, especially the clients, need to be updated regularly in order to guarantee compatibility with the newest mobile operating systems.
At the start of a new project, things like the time to market and individual features are often at the center of attention. And those topics are indeed very important when choosing a provider, however, one should not overlook the critical factor of long-term support. Otherwise, projects that seem to evolve successfully at the start, tend to drift into disappointment after some time.
Long-term support should cover updates for all client types in use (including apps, SDKs, and web apps), but also the server components. Before starting a project, make sure that the provider is able to actively support your solution and release new updates in regular intervals.