Scan pay and go, also known as scan and go or self-checkout is a type of technology that allows customers to scan items as they shop and pay for their purchases without the need to stand in queues. 

 This technology is becoming increasingly popular among retailers as a way to improve customer experience and efficiency. 

Implementing a scan and pay system can benefit businesses in many ways, but does require careful planning and execution. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process retailers should follow when implementing mobile scan and pay in their stores.

Choosing the Right Scan Pay and Go System

The first step in implementing scan and pay is selecting the right system for your business. Some major options to consider are the following:

Self-Checkout Kiosks

Dedicated self-checkout stations where customers scan, check out, and take their items themselves. Kiosks can be freestanding units or integrated into a checkout counter. The self-checkout kiosks often utilize barcode scanners.

Handheld Mobile Scanners

Customers carry a handheld device and scan item barcodes as they shop. The scanners sync with the point-of-sale and inventory systems via WiFi or Bluetooth. Convenient for shoppers, but can slow if connectivity is spotty. 

Requires a customized smartphone app shoppers must download and log in to. Choose scanners that are comfortable for long periods of use and easy for shoppers to swap between hands when needed.

Computer Vision Cameras 

Overhead cameras with computer vision technology to automatically detect when items are selected or placed in a cart. Does not require barcode scanning. 

When evaluating systems, retailers should consider costs, technical capabilities, customer experience, loss prevention, and store layout. A pilot test can help determine what works best before committing to a full rollout.

Setting Up the Hardware

Once a scan pay and go system is selected, retailers must purchase and install the necessary hardware in stores. 

For Self-Checkout Kiosks

This includes procuring the kiosk machines along with barcode scanners, payment terminals, bagging areas, and receipt printers. Units should be set up in convenient locations with enough space for customers and carts. Proper power and internet connections are required.

For Handheld Scanners

Businesses must obtain the handheld devices and any charging stations or syncing bases needed. Wireless internet access must be enabled in the store so scanners can communicate with point-of-sale and inventory systems. 

For Computer Vision Systems

High-resolution overhead cameras must be installed and calibrated properly. Angle and distance from shelving/carts impact accuracy. Sufficient lighting is also key. The computer vision software must be integrated with checkout and inventory management systems.

Developing a Mobile App (For Handheld Scanners)

If using handheld mobile scanners, businesses will need to develop a custom smartphone app for the technology. Key features the app should include:

  • Barcode scanning capability 
  • Connectivity with backend systems
  • Shopping cart and total calculation
  • Coupon scanning/application
  • Payment processing
  • Digital receipts

The app should be intuitive, reliable, and secure. Rigorous testing is required before launch. Push notifications can remind customers to download.

Staff Training 

Once the scan pay and go system hardware and software are ready, staff must be thoroughly trained on using and troubleshooting the technology to assist customers. Training should cover:

  • Hardware operation – scanners, scales, terminals, cameras
  • Software system navigation
  • Troubleshooting – clearing errors, barcode issues
  • Loss prevention procedures – identifying theft/fraud
  • Customer assistance – answering questions, helping bag items
  • Cleaning and maintenance of equipment

Provide quick reference guides and have managers monitor staff following the launch.

Setting Business Rules

There are some key business rules retailers will need to establish before launch:

  • Minimum age to use system – 18? 16 with supervision? 
  • Purchasing restrictions – alcohol, tobacco, pharmacy, age-restricted items
  • Maximum number of items allowed per transaction
  • Accepted payment methods – credit, debit, mobile pay
  • Receipt options – email, text, paper, none
  • Cart/basket size restrictions
  • Employee override procedures

Rules may vary by location based on local laws. Make policies clear to customers.

Launching a Pilot

Before rolling out scan and pay chainwide, conducting a pilot test in a few stores first allows businesses to work out any issues on a small scale. Pilot stores should:

  • Have staff fully trained beforehand
  • Stock extra hardware parts/backup units
  • Identify technical contacts for support  
  • Closely monitor system performance and customer feedback
  • Be prepared to pull the plug if major problems arise

Use findings from the pilot to refine the program before a full launch.

Promoting the New Technology  

To drive customer awareness and adoption, retailers should promote the new scan and pay options through various channels:

  • In-store signs and demonstrations 
  • Social media campaigns and videos
  • Promotions like contests or special coupons for first-time users
  • Partnerships with influencers/brand ambassadors
  • Updated website and app messaging
  • Emails and text alerts to loyalty members
  • Retailer mobile app push notifications

Continue marketing efforts even after launch. Monitor usage metrics.

Rolling Out to All Locations

With learnings from the pilot, retailers can start gradually expanding the scan and thru solutions to more stores region by region. Key factors for the rollout process:

  • Order sufficient hardware/units well in advance
  • Schedule installs by store or geographic area
  • Conduct staff training sessions ahead of each install
  • Assign program leaders at district/regional levels 
  • Provide extra IT support during the early weeks of usage
  • Continue gathering feedback and refining policies
  • Share success stories internally to gain buy-in

Gradual rollout allows for smoother adoption as processes are refined.

Driving Ongoing Usage  

Launching scan and pay is just the beginning. Retailers must focus on driving consistent usage by:

  • Monitoring system performance daily and resolving issues quickly
  • Using sales data to optimize checkout placement  
  • Adding hardware units during peak periods like holidays
  • Improving speed to make systems more appealing
  • Pushing mobile app downloads and signups 
  • Reminding customers of scan and pay options through in-store announcements and signage
  • Training staff to proactively offer assistance to shoppers
  • Surveying customers and staff regularly for feedback

The system should be continually refined over time. Feature upgrades can also encourage ongoing usage.

Key Takeaways

Implementing scan and pay technology requires significant investment and planning, but can greatly enhance customer experience. Key steps include choosing a system, setting up hardware, training staff, piloting, promoting to customers, rolling out chainwide, and driving ongoing usage. With patience and commitment to continuous improvement, scan and pay can transform the shopping journey and provide convenience for shoppers.